I’ve always had pretty good timing. It’s something innate. I can leave my house at different times—with the same destination in mind—and somehow always arrive at my destination right when I want to. Usually I can predict it to the minute (early, on time, late, whatever)—like a GPS, only without the condescending tone. Well, I don’t know I probably am just as condescending, I have my moments.
Good timing is my superpower.
I firmly believe that everyone has a superpower, we just don’t always embrace our superpowers, proving that we’re not so different than the heroes we idolize after all.
My students rarely see the point in studying English—the language, the literature, the class; most of the time they see it as a colossal waste of time. But what if English class is preparing them, not only for college and the future, but preparing them for life, for embracing their inner hero and for becoming a dynamic character in their own lives. What if English class isn’t really about English at all, what if it is really a training for something greater. What if it is training you to accept a call to be the hero in your own life?
Okay, yeah. That’s a stretch, but sometimes I wonder if life isn’t simply about the perspective with which you choose to see it.
I sit at a traffic light thinking about whether I should turn left or right. If I turn right I will get to my destination in 3 minutes, if I turn left it will take 7 minutes. But in that 7 minutes, will something else significant happen? Is there a reason to delay my journey for an additional 4 minutes? If there is, I take that alternate route and I arrive at my destination precisely when I said I would be there and as I am walking in, a friend of mine is walking out—in tears. Upset because she has just received the news. I stop. We talk. I offer the embrace she needed just at that moment. The moment I wouldn’t have been there for if I’d have arrived 4 minutes earlier, or 5 minutes later.
Timing. It may not be superspeed or superstrength. I may not be able to leap tall buildings, fly or time travel, but I can be the hero to someone who needs a hug, to the person who needs a shoulder, to the person who needs to get to work, who needs to talk.
And I wouldn’t even think about it that way if I didn’t have the perspective of seeing it that way. Life is a journey. We can follow our call to adventure and be the hero in our own life, or we can…not. But being passive—letting life happen to me, is more terrifying. Like being stuck at that traffic light forever.
Maybe I didn’t learn all this in English class, but I can certainly see how being passive could affect the future based on the literature, and there is nothing more human than that. We spend our lives trying to stand out and make a difference—so why not use what we learn to our advantage? How could anything be more applicable than the basic foundations of our human experiences?
Everyone has a superpower. The trick is, you have to stop being afraid of it, embrace it, and use it to become the hero in your own life.
That’s when you stop being static and you become the round, dynamic hero you’re meant to be.
So…what is your superpower?