Today one of my coworkers claimed to “hate” super hero movies. This statement could not be tolerated (at least not without debate). How could any man hate such things? I didn’t understand. I asked him, “How can you hate super hero movies?” Quickly he responded, “I don’t know, man. Super heroes just aren’t really my thing.”
“Not your thing?” I asked. “Well, if someone offered you a super power of your choice would you refuse it?”
He thought about it. “Um, I don’t know. I guess I would take it.” The conversation continued.
Me: “If you could pick any super power, which one would you take?”
Coworker: “Well, that’s tough. I guess flying. But flying wouldn’t really be good if you were traveling long distance because you couldn’t carry other people.”
Me: “Yeah, you’d probably need super strength to go with it in order for flying to be any good. Maybe invincibility too, just in case someone tried to shoot you down.”
Coworker: “Yeah, that’s the other thing. If I could fly and no one else could, somebody would try to take advantage of it. It might be more of a hassle than it’s worth. What powers would you have?”
Me: “I think invincibility would top my list, and teleportation.”
Coworker: “Yeah, I think invisibility would be great. I’d take that too.”
Me: “Or mind control. That’d be sweet.”
Coworker: “Nah man. That’s just evil.”
Me: “Aww, come on. We’re salesmen. Wouldn’t it be cool to be like, ‘Hey you. Spend $50,000 with my station’ And have them say, ‘Okay. Let me write you a check?”
Coworker: “I don’t know man. That just seems evil.”
Me: “What would you do with your invisibility?”
Coworker: “I guess it would be more for financial security. I could get in and out of a bank. No one would see me. I’d be the Invisible Man.”
Me: “Wait, so you’d rob banks?”
Coworker: “Well, I mean, I’d rob a bank. I wouldn’t overdo it.”
Me: “How is that any less evil than my mind control?”
Coworker: “I don’t know.”
Me: “I mean, imagine what a teenage boy would do with invisibility.”
Coworker: “Yeah, I can imagine.”
Me: “And that’s why God doesn’t give us super powers. We’d all end up super villains. We don’t have great power because all of us have an evil side. Our limitations are what keep us good.”
While we kind of wandered away from the movies, I think three things happened naturally in that conversation (and thus with this article).
- It was confirmed that all boys (young or old) do have this discussion.
- As you’re reading this, you’re thinking about which super power you would have. Go ahead. Take a minute. I’d wonder about you if you didn’t.
- One of those crazy, libertarian, arguments for limited government surfaced, organically.
Our limitations are what keep us good. Humility is a vital part of coexistence. When there is trouble, or when times get difficult, a strength-based society helps the distressed knowing that they too may need assistance one day.
But that is strictly a person-to-person truth. With Government, composed of individuals – yes, but granted powers beyond those of an average citizen, limitations can begin to disintegrate. And we’ve seen it throughout history.
- Governments have the power to control armies of men with mere commands.
- Governments have the power to create money where there is no value, and where the average person would have to earn it.
- Like Thor’s brother, Loki, governments seem capable of ruling generations with a silver tongue, or through the power of persuasion and rhetoric. Many times these words are filled with deceit.
- Finally, in some instances, governments are even able to see or hear their citizens – monitoring their actions without their consent, using technology, and thus creating a sort of omnipresence.
The limited government / big government debate is reaching its pinnacle, but in considering which side you take, I would consider two things.
- How would you use your super powers?
- With the authority that they are given, and the powers that seem to come from it, does our growing government seem to acquire more humility with size?
I don’t think so. Like I said during my conversation with my coworker, “Our limitations are what keep us good.” A government that is not submissive or held accountable to any limitations has the potential for severe abuse and injustice.
Knowing this, we should all reserve our place in the conversation, doing our best to implement and maintain the limitations that governments require if they are ever to perform in line with any sort of wisdom or virtue.
Super human or not, we can do that much. And, whether we know it or not, doing so makes us heroic.