Sunday, July 18, 2010
Walk Like Superman
My pal Cliff recommended I read Superman issue 701, the first part in a series called Grounded, where Superman decides to walk across the country. The premise sounds kind of goofy but as the man of steel walks along, he stops to help a guy fix his truck, eats lunch in a diner, seriously messes with some low level drug dealers (without any violence) and talks a young girl out of leaping to her death from a tall building. He doesn't catch her or grab her or anything. He just talks to her. This is why no other Superhero is Superman. He's not driven by vengeance. His parents weren't murdered by thugs. He wasn't the victim of some strange radioactive accident. Basically he was just brought up right, and he uses his powers for good. He does the right thing because it's the right thing to do.
I was thinking about that this morning when I went grocery shopping early. I had wheeled the cart to my truck and put the bags in the floorboard and I realized I had parked far away from the buggy return. But I walked the buggy back to the store because I knew that was what Superman would do. He wouldn't leave it to roll away. As I came back out of the store, an elderly man yelled to me, "Thank you for doing that!"
I stopped and he walked up and told me that a few weeks before someone had let a cart roll away in the very same parking lot and it had dinged his car. He just wanted to say thanks. I wished him a good morning and went to the truck.
As I was pulling out of the parking lot I saw two young men jogging my way. The timing would make them have to stop unless I waited to pull out into the road. There was no one coming in either direction, but I waited so that they could run uninteruppted. One of them made eye contact and he yelled, "Thanks for stopping, man. You have a good morning!"
Small things, I know, but it made me feel good. I'd done the right thing twice and darned if people hadn't actually thanked me. I'm not telling you this to blow my own horn. I am sometimes amazed at how selfish and petty I can be. I know Superman isn't real and none of us can ever be Superman. But maybe once and a while things would be a little better if we could walk like him.