Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Responsible Adult = Secret Identity

I really like the idea that our responsibilities as adults are the suit and glasses we put on to fool the world, but underneath?

Oh, boy.

We're winking to the camera.

If they only knew.

The other thing is the few, select, special people that get to know the real us, who we are under the glasses (whether it be from us revealing our secret to them, or them somehow deducing it for themselves), those people get to be the people that are like the hero's hero.

Those are the people that believe in us.

The people that know what we're really capable of and have this incredible faith in us even when we've got our glasses on and are pretending to stumble trying to catch the elevator.

It's like people having faith in you makes you want to reward their faith in you by being what they believe you to be. Someone else having faith in you, believing in you, gives you the ability to go beyond what you are or what you think you are and be who they think you are.

And it's so easy when you're the person out there trying to save the day and make the world better, to get knocked down and dragged through the mud. The real you, though more capable and powerful, is unfortunately also more vulnerable to all the people and forces out there that don't want to believe or don't want others to believe. The you with the glasses on is able to blend in with the crowd and not be such a target. But I guess that's the price we have to pay for daring to dream of something better.

It's riskier.

It's scarier.

There are criminals and evil businessmen and monsters and giant robots from outer space all out there waiting to try to take you down a peg and be the one who beats you.

And not just out there doing evil things, but sometimes actively plotting against you while you're none the wiser. All kinds of traps and ambushes out there just waiting for us.

And yet, we have to not just endure it all, but persevere.

To not just find a way to survive, but to come out on top and be ready to jump headlong into the next adventure.

It seems like it's too much to ask of anyone. It seems like it's more than anyone should be able to do.

And maybe it is.

Maybe it is too much for anyone to do, but to think that there are people who believe we are capable of it, I think, is what gives us the ability to do so.


Dylan said...

Chris, this was beautiful. Thanks for posting it.

chrishaley said...

Dylan - Thanks for taking the time to read it, man.
I hoped you would.

jason quinones said...


that was a really well written piece that obviously came from the heart a a true blue comic book fan!

just thought i'd also let you know that my company has recently dropped the hammer on our company's internet access and is starting to block and monitor our visits so i won't be as vocal with the comments during the day.

at least for now...

chrishaley said...

Jason - Thanks, man.
I understand what the work-related internet crackdown is like, so I will take no offense.

Just be sure to check in when you get home!

Candace said...

this is a great piece. i enjoyed it & i'm not even a comic book reader. nice job.

M.Sea said...

I like what you said, man. That's what it's all about, finding the inspiration to be better.

chrishaley said...

Candace - Thanks! I was hoping that what I was saying would be understandable on a general level even if you don't know the Green Lantern oath.

chrishaley said...

M. - Thanks, dude.
That's the trick and the struggle every day, man.

Nancy Caroline said...

Um...this is not way geekier. A)look at all your comments and 2) I read this already, and thought long and hard...and I wondered if anyone believed in me. It's crappy coming to the realization that you've spent a lot of time believing in other people...and never believing in yourself...and also never feeling like they believed in you. I'm feeling this way right now. I'm also dealing with the fact that the way that I see things is not necessarily how they really are.

chrishaley said...

nancy caroline - I think there's also the thing of feeling like you're not worth as much as you really are if you don't feel like the person/people that you look up to or who's validation you're really seeking doesn't believe in you. Sometimes it's not enough that someone believes in you, if you feel like a particular someone doesn't.
Man, we're all complicated, aren't we?
I guess the point is even when we feel that way, even when we feel like the crowds aren't cheering for us, even when the girl you love writes an article about how the world doesn't need you anymore, even when the bad guys have an entire island made out of kryptonite, sometimes you have to find it within yourself to believe in yourself and to believe that others will too.
Sometimes you've got to take feeling like the "world" is saying they don't need you anymore and find a way to still say, "Well, they may think they don't need me anymore, but that plane isn't going to save itself."
Sometimes you're the only one who knows what you're like when you take your glasses off, and sometimes that's part of what makes it so hard to keep going, but whether people realize it or not, you're still the one with the S on your chest that's able to do the things no one else can and they/we do need you.

chrishaley said...

nancy caroline - It's also worth mentioning that I'm trying to say all of that to myself as much as I am to you.

Also, I believe in you.

Curt Franklin said...

This was good Chris. I don't know why you think you can't write.

april said...

"...even when the girl you love writes an article about how the world doesn't need you anymore..."

when i initially read this, i hadn't yet realized you were referring specifically to superman and thought, "what?! what did i write?" haha! i would never write that about you, even if you did leave the planet without any promise of coming back.

Cody the cannibal said...

I think green Arrow said something complementary to this post in final crisis requim over Martian Manhunters body. GL- "...I'd incinerate them all without a moments hesitation." GA-"No you wouldn't thats why we are who we are and they are who they are."

and then " As long as we're still here sucking air, our job is to carry the light and chase the shadows away like he would have wanted us to." "He was my favorite martian" GL- "Mine too."

b3n said...

Right on Chris. Thanks for this. It's like something I could print out and put on the wall. Something my wife and I can read together and remember what we're trying to do in this world. It's a great reminder that we're not only the superhero, but also the person with faith in others. Its an awesome train of thought: positive, reaching, and hopeful.

Thanks, ben

chrishaley said...

Curt - Because it's really hard.

Also, thank you very much.

chrishaley said...

Cody - Wow, yeah, man. Exactly. Gettin' all teary-eyed again.

chrishaley said...

b3n - Jeez, thanks a lot, man. I really do appreciate all of you taking the time to read this, and it makes me feel like I said something right that people seem to be able to identify with it.

PAT said...

Very well said. Very cool.
I may be thinking about this one for a day or two....

chrishaley said...

Pat - Wow, thanks, man! Of course I'm always psyched when you find a minute to stop by, but I'm especially glad you were able to catch this post.