From the Shelf

Though the times we are living in today are safer, cleaner and less violent than any other time in human history, we nevertheless are surrounded by stories of injustice and cruelty: terrorism, global warming, widespread hunger, domestic violence, natural disasters, drug addiction.... We can become overwhelmed by the problems facing society. We might even catch ourselves thinking, if only there were a superhero who could stop this.

 photo Julia ScottHeck... if I were a superhero, then I could stop this.

That's a powerful fantasy, if also a problematic one. We don't have super strength or the ability to fly. But none of us are powerless. When I was writing Renegades and creating the superheroes and villains that populate Gatlon City, I found myself thinking a lot about heroism and how, truthfully, the people of my fictional world have it wrong.

Heroism is not about your abilities, it's about your choices, and we can all choose to do good in this world. There is heroism in giving up a couple hours a week to tutor a struggling student. Or speaking your opinion, even when it goes against the status quo. There is heroism in doing something that we feel in our hearts is right, when it would be easier to do nothing at all.

Though it may not always seem like it, humanity is making progress, and I believe that some portion of that progress is due to small acts of goodness and compassion built up over long periods of time. No superheroes required.

Top