People look at Marvel movies as epic in scope, but if you look back at the comics, you realize that Marvel heroes were often a reaction to the square-jawed DC characters like Superman, who were flawless and beyond reproach.
Last weekend, like millions of others all around the world, I went to see “Black Panther” with my family. We loved the film for so many reasons, and on our way home, we dissected and analyzed and evaluated the film. In the end, it all boiled down to this—we liked the film because we connected with the characters.
Now, I’m pretty sure that none of us have been bitten by an insect and now are developing insect-like characteristics, nor do we have an iron suit that makes us nearly invincible, but we can relate to teenage angst or physical pain or the loss of a loved one. And in Marvel’s most recent film, “Black Panther”, with a nearly all-Black cast, several strong female leads, and a fictional nation that was tremendously technologically advanced, we saw much to strive for.
We live in times where we emulate the Kardashians, who look nothing like their pre-plastic surgery selves. We digitally alter photos of models on fashion magazines to make them look thinner. We document our fabulous trips and amazing meals on Facebook. And we can’t even engage in civil discourse because we are convinced that we, and only we, are beyond reproach. The others are the clueless, heartless and ignorant ones. Not me, I’m never wrong.
But, maybe we should stop the striving for flawlessness and strive for other things, like—truth, authenticity, purpose, compassion, love. Maybe we should stop trying to fit some cookie cutter image that we have—either willingly or unwillingly, consciously or unconsciously—have accepted. Maybe we should have enough courage to be wrong, to say I’m sorry. The blemishes are beautiful, they are far more interesting, they are true.
I love stones, and whenever I can, I love to find ones with huge cracks and cuts, ones that are dirty and cloudy, and oddly shaped. They tell stories, ones I can’t wait to uncover. I hope we can become excited about uncovering our own stories, the ones with blemishes and beauty and questions and clarity.