Superheroes inspire us to heal and save the world by overcoming social injustice, adversity and fear.

 

A hero is someone who rises above his or her fears and limitations to achieve something extraordinary … a hero embodies what we believe is best in ourselves.”

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-superheroes-important-work-albert-thomas

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This is a metaphor for racism, prejudice, and discrimination in society. The movie asks audiences to reassess people who are different from them. After seeing X-Men, I thought about how easy it is to form quick, snapshot judgements without even realizing it. In school it is all too easy to classify people who dress differently as belonging in different groups such as the cool people, the rebels, and the nerds.

From the January 1, 2000 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

 

Even Superman needs God (E-mail to my grandson)

By Mary Metzner Trammell

You said everybody needs God—even Superman. Everyone needs God’s love. God is the one who keeps us happy and safe … always. No one else can do for us what God does. That’s what “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” means, you said.

From the July 24, 2000 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

 

“It is most important to keep ideas of Social Justice and their impact upon society always in front of you when you are writing.”

Carol Andrade

Dean of Studies, St Pauls institute of communication education, using The Christian Science Monitor in her journalism classes in Mumbai, India

2016 Christian Science Annual Meeting

 

“We hope that we can demonstrate to the studios that there is a huge audience for accurate LGBT portrayal on the big screen,” Shape History’s Mike Buonaiuto, who directed the trailer [below], told The Huffington Post in an email, “and it won’t deter cinema­ goers to buy tickets.”  Let’s make this happen, Hollywood! Read more about the #LGBTSuperheroes effort here.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lgbt-superhero-campaign_us_574bab71e4b055bb1172778e

 

How does following the adventures of Spider-Man and Batman inspire us to cope with adversity?

By Robin Rosenberg
Smithsonian Magazine
February 2013

I think origin stories show us not how to become super but how to be heroes, choosing altruism (selfless concern for others) over the pursuit of wealth and power. I’ve learned this through hundreds of conversations at comic book conventions, where fans have been remarkably candid about their lives and the inspiration they draw from superhero stories.

In my surveys of the genre, I’ve found that superheroes undergo three types of life-altering experiences that we can relate to.

The first is trauma, which lies at the heart of Batman’s origin story, in which Bruce Wayne dedicates himself to fighting crime after seeing his parents murdered. In real life, many people experience “stress-induced growth” after a trauma and resolve to help others, even becoming social activists.

The second life-altering force is destiny. Consider Buffy the Vampire Slayer, about a normal teenager who discovers she’s the “Chosen One”—endowed with supernatural powers to fight demons. Buffy is reluctant to accept her destiny, yet she throws herself into her new job. Many of us identify with Buffy’s challenge (minus the vampires) of assuming a great responsibility that compels her to grow up sooner than she wants to.
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Lastly, there’s sheer chance, which transformed a young Spider-Man, who was using his power for selfish purposes until his beloved uncle was murdered by a street thug. Spider-Man’s heroism is an example of how random adverse events cause many of us to take stock of our lives and choose a different path.

At their best, superhero origin stories inspire us and provide models of coping with adversity, finding meaning in loss and trauma, discovering our strengths and using them for good purpose.  In doing so, they tap into our capacity for empathy, one of the greatest powers of all.

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Buonaiuto (below) created the campaign to demonstrate that “there is a huge audience for accurate LGBT portrayal” in Hollywood.

Comic below – In Marvel Comics’ Issue No. 600 of “Uncanny X-Men,” Iceman has a conversation with his younger self and reveals that he is gay. Credit Marvel Comics

The mutant superhero Northstar, below, married his boyfriend, Kyle. Credit Marvel Comics

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