Thursday, November 27, 2014

Who do you want to be?

This is a post I've wanted to get out for a while, however I fear it won't capture all I wish to say, it's been a hard subject for me and I don't quite know why.

I don't feel like I fit in, this isn't the reality of my situation, just my twisted perception of reality. This lead me to question why I feel like I HAVE to fit in, which in turn asked a bigger question than "How do I fit in?" it is "Who do I want to be?" Because, how can I know where to fit in, if I don't know who I fit in with?

Despite appearances, I don't know how to fit in, but I kinda know how to be myself, and as I write this I ask myself "Do I know how to be the BEST I can be?" and the answer is: "Not yet." So, how do I find out how to be the best of myself?

Well... I've had this quote in my head for months, ever since I heard it and it's been festering in my mind and it's perfect for helping me figure out who I am.

"It's hard to talk about the importance of an imaginary hero, but heroes are important. Heroes tell us something about ourselves. History books tell us who we used to be, documentaries tell us who we are now, but heroes tell us who we want to be... And a lot of our heroes depress me.

But when they made this particular hero they didn't give him a gun they gave him a screwdriver to fix things. They didn't give him a tank or a warship or an x wing fighter, they gave him a call box from which you can call for help. And they didn't give him a superpower or pointy ears or a heat ray they gave him an extra heart. They gave him two hearts.

And that's an extraordinary thing, there will never come a time when we don't need a hero like The Doctor."

This is absolute genius because it is absolutely true in my mind, our heroes influence us, they define us, my heroes are not the conventional heroes I was ever expected to aspire to. Most of my heroes are either long dead or are fictional.

So, in no particular order, here are three of my heroes:

Mad cap engineer who developed alternating current, radio, radar and so much more. When Westinghouse (the guy who paid royalties to Tesla) almost went bankrupt Tesla famously tore up the contract and told Westinghouse to keep using his inventions, making him not just an amazingly accomplished scientist, but also one of the nicest guys ever.

Another creative genius, but his vision was to entertain the world and teach us that we are actually not much different from each other, no really, watch Fraggle Rock, it's all about being tolerant and learning how to live with each other. He brought joy to millions and he also advanced modern puppets so far and his work lead the way for some amazing developments on screen.

I can only sum the nature of this hero with this quote:

The Doctor: "What's the point of having two hearts if you can't be forgiving once in a while?"

And a transcript from the episode "Dark Water".

Clara: "You're going to help me?"

The Doctor: "Well, why wouldn't I help you?"

Clara: "Cos of what I just did! I..."

The Doctor: "You betrayed me. You betrayed my trust. You betrayed our friendship. You betrayed everything I ever stood for. YOU LET ME DOWN!"

Clara: "Then why are you helping me?"

The Doctor: "Why?"

Slight pause.

The Doctor: "Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?"

When I combine these characters and historical figures I get an idea of who I am and who it is I aspire to be. Examining the people I look up to, the first two real heroes are misunderstood creative geniuses, now, I'm not claiming that I am, I'm just saying I aspire to be creative and smart, I'm not satisfied with the way things are and want to change that which is in my power to do so.

When I look into fiction and look at the totally unrealistic possibilities, I don't want to be super strong, or a mind reader, what connected with me more than Wolverine or SpiderMan ever could, was one man, angry, but so massively full of compassion that he forgave his friend instantly.

That is what I aspire to, to forgive so easily and so freely. That takes some courage, and that demonstrates such extraordinary humanity. I don't know if I'll ever react like that, but I'd certainly WANT to be able to react like that.

The remarkable thing was that when I learned who I wanted to be, I stopped caring about how to fit in. I became far more consumed with how to be the best of who I am. I am seeing the dynamic of the relationships I have change and become and that's interesting because as I become more of the person I want to be, the more fulfilling the nature of the relationships I have with the people that are in my life.

So, heroes help us learn about who we aspire to be, perhaps this is why Christ came and gave us an example. First Peter 2:21-25 (Cos you know, the Message is a bit weird with verses):

This is the kind of life you've been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also how to do it, step-by-step.

Maybe we should use this example first and foremost, before we look to humans and imaginary time travelling aliens to inspire us. Perhaps we needed to have an example to look up to and to get our inspiration from.

Anyone with me?

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