Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The true superheroes

Today we have Marvel leading the way in what it takes to be a person that does the right thing. The message is that you need special powers to do something that is not full of self interest or narcicism.  It is not normal to participate in something that you don't gain material benefit from.  After all, capitalism is the American way.  Philanthropy is what you do when you can't possibly spend it all and cynically could be seen as "a look at me" event or publicity exercise, rather than actually doing good in the community.

Our culture is dominated by "the look at me" ideal, but it wasn't always so.  The idea of giving as a pathway to fulfilment and happiness is known by the older generation.  Looking at organisations such as Lions and Rotary, putting internal politics aside, both organisations have people in them that genuinely get pleasure from doing good in the community in which they live.  I would put forward that these people are the real superheroes as they assist where there is no reason to assist, other than it is the right thing to do.  There is no material benefit other than gratitude and a thank you.

Current generations have faced hardships: bushfires, high interest rates, climate change and now covid but have not faced war, high unemployment, famine - issues about safety, security, extreme poverty and basic needs in the way past generations have.  Bringing together of a whole community has not been required in the same way as past generations.

There are some members of our community that have faced a loss of basic needs.  These are some of the nicest people in our communities as they know what it is like to have very little and still see the good in the world.

It is important that our youth are encouraged to experience that community service is a path to a fulfilling adulthood and have authentic ways to engage with it.  I do not in any way propose compulsory community service, but giving them access to those that are willing to serve, when they are ready to serve (through the armed forces or through local community organisations) is important to their growth - having opportunities and positive experiences that they can access when they are ready and continue into adulthood.

Without these positive role models, they may believe the hype that only those with super powers can do good.  And it is simply not true at all.

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