Heroes Don’t Always Wear Capes


(Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

By Kevin Stoltenborg

(Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

Sometimes it feels like the darkness surrounds us, like a mound of boulders packed so tightly light has vanished. Imagine in this moment a hand busting through the rocks reviving light to your eyes. Grabbing the hand, you rise like gravity no longer exists. Once plunged out of the darkness, you begin to come to your senses. All you have time to notice is a cape flowing in the wind. Then they vanish.
What makes a hero? Is it the superhuman strength, tight spandex suits, or something much deeper than external features? It’s a cliché, but heroes are made from the inside out.

With the release of Marvel’s third installment of the “Avengers,” Avengers: Infinity War, it’s the perfect time to talk about heroes. Sure, it’s always great to see your favorite Marvel superheroes unite and save the world, but what about the real world? In a time of division like the one we are facing, it is important to take a step back from the screen and see who the true heroes are in the world today.

As a kid, all I dreamed about was having superhuman powers. I would dress up like Spiderman and jump from sofa to sofa fending off evil villains from my family. Wearing a towel as a cape, my dad would lift me to the ceiling as I envisioned asteroids zooming past me. My imagination was my reality. I saw no reason why I could not be a superhero.

Then one day things changed. I began to realize no amount of x-rays would change my biological composition, and no matter how many spiders bit me, walls were still as hard to climb as the day before. I know what you’re thinking: dream shattered. But, actually the opposite occurred.

After realizing I was most likely not going to get super powers, I began understanding what people really loved about superheroes. The fire in their eyes. Their willingness to never give up. Their passion for saving others. I finally understood what made a hero was not what powers they had, but what they were made of on the inside.

Think about someone you consider a hero. Are they a hero because they look a certain way? Or is it because they would go to the end of the earth to accomplish their goal?

In sports, there are tons of heroes: people overcoming struggles, working tirelessly on their craft, and giving everything they have for one moment. Athletes like Bethany Hamilton, a surfer with only one arm, inspires millions of people to defy the limits of their bodies. She may not be able to talk to fish like Aquaman, but her impact on the world is all the same.

In medicine, doctors see hundreds of patients a day, saving lives with surgical procedures, quick thinking and fast paced action. No super powers were given to these people when they were born, but they continually save lives. I’m sure more than a few people were in awe of the heroes of FUEMS who cared for them this past Spring Weekend.

When taking a second look at the world I no longer see a land filled with your average citizens. I see a world filled with superhuman power. I see a world where people do not need special abilities to be a hero because they already are a hero. Everyone has surely made a positive impact on someone, somewhere in their life.

So yes, sometimes it feels like we are surrounded by darkness and need a superhero to come save us. But, remember that just as easily as your hero can pull you out from under the rubble, you can pull someone out too.