Padre’s Corner: Finding your own real superhero

St. Brendan’s Chapel at Stadacona. CFB HALIFAX

Padre’s Corner: Finding your own real superhero

By Padre Capt Steeve Arseneau
Chaplain, 12 Wing Shearwater

Since the beginning of the pandemic back in March 2020, I have seen a lot of movies either at the theatre or on Netflix at home. Like many other people who may think the same way I do, I try to limit the amount of time sitting in front of the screen. Instead of watching pre-scripted dramas done by talented actors who are paid to act or react in a certain way, I prefer to create my own world of drama or creativity.

So much of what influences us in our North American context these days is based on what we view on television or see online. We are often told by the media the way we should think, or the way to act based on a set of values that we may or may not endorse ourselves. Case in point, have you noticed lately the number of movie remakes of superheroes that have been filmed? According to my quick research, there have been seven different Batman movies since the original was produced in 1966 and played by Adam West. I won’t even enter the sphere of Superman, Captain America, Thor or the Hulk but, you get the idea. Even bad guys, according to the storyline, like the infamous Joker, have gotten their own movies. The conclusion I draw from this madness is that you don’t have to be a real hero, in real life, to make it into the movie business. Living in the imaginary world can give a feeling of escapism, and in some severe cases, that fantasy blurs with reality.

We live in a world where our perceptions are often influenced or re-wired. Case in point, we are uplifting or desiring the value of invisibility (superhero) instead of vulnerability. Yes, of course, there are also dangers in being too vulnerable sometimes, but wishing or daydreaming of being invisible doesn’t address the reality of our complex lives today. Some will call it a good distraction, or a way to cope with the stresses of our current lives. There may be a measure of truth to that but, if this fantasy is not grounded or applicable to real life circumstances, we will never live up to our destiny or our potential as human beings.

The solution, and I know that I needed to land this eventually, is to find ourselves our very own real-life heroes – people who live by example and lead an ethical existence, or who have sacrificed for the benefit of others. Seek out people in your life who have talked the talk and walked the walk. It could be your parents, your friends or anybody else you admire for their courage, integrity and conviction, but they must be real. Maybe it’s even someone who challenged you in your vision of the world to the point that they remold your heart and decision-making. My hope for you is that you are in the process of defining who fits the mold of the type of person you want to become. I have found mine (it’s an easy guess, since I am a minister) and encourage you to discover who that person should be for you. Have a great summer!