Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility"

Spiderman's Uncle taught him that. His Uncle was named Ben. I also have an Uncle Ben, and no, he does not sell rice (I am aware that was an easy gag, but I think it works as an opener).

I consider myself a curious sort of fellow. As a youth I spent much of my time waiting for the day when some form of latent superpower would manifest itself. in fact a certain part of me still does. Comic books had an immense impact on my life as a lad, and have helped shaped me into the (nerdy) man that I now am.

There were many lessons I felt my young brain absorbed from those brightly-coloured, spandex-clad protectors of the weak, and my dress-sense was not one of them... What I learned from my 'heroes' was, as Uncle Ben (Spiderman's, not mine, although he too is a fountain of knowledge) said, power and responsibility are bedfellows, whether we want them to be or not.

This is how I believe ethics function and the point where we, as a human race have the potential to be our own superheroes.

In the Western hemisphere we have been given the gift of freedom, both financial and political, and this freedom gives us a planetary spanning power that even Superman would be jealous of.

So here we are, with all this power and what do we do.? We buy Playstations, and Nike shoes, and get ourselves smashed at the weekends. Consumerism has become the kryptonite to our great power.

It is time, now, for us to learn a little something from the Uncle Ben's of the world. It is time for us to don the metaphorical cape of justice and act with responsibility. Now it is time for us to find our ethics so we can be the protectors of the weak, and the saviours of the world. Our freedoms are not the freedoms of others. We can be there shining a light on the way of this world, using our freedoms to help those who do not have them.

And all we have to do is accept a little responsibility.