Things I Learned — Superhero Chronicles

There's a whole lotta grandmothers at this party...
There’s a whole lotta grandmothers at this party…

1. I’m the same age now that my grandmother was when I was born 

My grandparents have always been the oldest people I know. When I was 6, they was old. When I was 16, they was old. When I was 26, O-L-D. I was amazed as how these old people would lead fairly active lives. They threw parties when I was in grade school, traveled, had good energy…etc. But now I see, they weren’t old at all!

My grandmother was 44 when she had me and my cousins making and serving their Calvert Extra and Cokes while they danced and laughed in the big room. That’s a mere six years from now for me and I can totally understand how useful a small child would be in that situation….lol.

Anyway, I’m choosing to think of my grandparents as ‘younger than I believed’ than consider the alternative ‘I’m grandparent old.’

This Me
This Me

2. There are kids in the world who believe I’m a superhero

A few years ago, at a party and on a whim, I half-drunkenly told some of Katy’s young cousins that I was a superhero. They’re unformed brains and inability to think logically led them to believe this fantastical claim.

I’ve seen them three times since that day, yesterday being the first time in maybe a year and a half. I had completely forgotten about the superhero thing but as soon as they saw me:

“Hey! Are you still a superhero?!”

I take this to mean I am contractually obligated to live my life as a superhero now. I will spread compassion and love everywhere I go. I will heal myself and others. I will give. These are my powers.


3. Bodhisattva Activism

I don’t like getting political. Or social. I get the sense it’s a waste of energy because the world is chaotic and difficult and messy — that’s just how the whole thing works. What’s most important to me is that we find individual peace within, self-love, and know that ever present indwelling wholeness. From this place we can change the world around us — and when enough of us are spreading this light THEN the global system will be affected.

Compassion: start local, go global.

This is all well and good until I’m confronted with the severe injustices of war, poverty, racism, hatred, ignorance, etc. Am I not supposed to speak out on these things or put in work because “hey guys, let’s just love ourselves first, yanno?”

But it dawned on me that these things are not as mutually exclusive as previously believed. The “hierarchy of needs” model of self-actualization applies to the Bodhisattva’s vow of liberating all beings. It’s extremely more difficult to be spiritually and emotionally liberated when you’re constantly oppressed, in fear of your life, and/or working 12 hours a day just to make ends meet. The Bodhisattva sees the injustices of the world as a primary barrier to realization and therefore works to diligently free people from the shackles of an injustice society as much as they will from the shackles of ego and delusion.

Now it’s your turn … what interesting things have you uncovered this week?