Batman is just an ordinary guy. Philanthropist by day, superhero by night. He did not have superpowers, yet he still was able to help others around him. The fact that Batman was a regular guy demonstrates that ordinary people can do extraordinary things, and that he need not be the only superhero.
People do not have to be born with the “right genes” or be child prodigies in order to make an impact in the world. Everyone can be their own Batman, or their own superhero in their own way.
Furthermore, genes are not the only thing that determines who a person is. If that were the case, people who have “bad genes” would have no luck at all in life. Rather, a person’s identity is determined by a conglomeration of aspects: life experiences, friends, family, circumstances and genetic makeup. Perhaps one of the most important aspects to determining who a person becomes is their mindset.
The popular saying “as a man thinks, so he is” is critical in recognizing that a majority of a person’s actions are determined by how he or she thinks. So one questions is whether people can realize their own individual uniqueness and potential through changing their mindset.
Carol Dweck, a professor at Stanford University, came up with a concept called the “fixed mindset” and the “growth mindset.” In the fixed mindset, people perceive that every skill, talent, trait and ability that they have is simply fixed. Therefore, they can do nothing to change who they are or what they can do. However, in the growth mindset people believe that there is always room for improvement in everything that they do. Talents and abilities can be further developed and even new ones can be discovered through hard work and persistence. Embracing the “growth mindset” will help people to realize their own individual and unique roles as Batman and to see that he is not the only superhero in society.
Another study conducted by PhD Candace Pert, the former head of Brain Biochemistry at the National Institutes of Health, found that a person’s mindset is determined by a combination of repeated and habitual thoughts, as well as the emotions that correspond to those thoughts. When people think positive thoughts or feel positive emotions like love, it triggers a set of biochemical reactions in the body. On the other hand, negative thoughts and emotions like anger trigger another kind of biochemical reaction.
Once these thoughts and emotions are repeated these biochemical reactions form into a neural network that sets these same thoughts and emotions in place, thus forming a mindset. Like muscle memory and habits, once this mindset is set it becomes the lens in which the person views everything in life through. When a person continuously thinks he or she is a victim it will eventually become the way they perceive everything.
The good thing is that people are in control of their thoughts. Attitude is a choice, and it is the person’s decision whether to choose to be optimistic and unaffected throughout the day with bad circumstances, or to choose to be bitter at things that happened. A positive neural network can be developed when a person thinks positively. People truly do become who they think and view themselves as.
Anyone can be a superhero in their own way and everyone has something good to offer. Everyone has their own unique personality, skill set, talents, genes and life experiences that make them who they are. Thus, everyone has something irreplaceable and special to give the world.
Like Batman, people do not need to be endowed with super powers in order to “save the world.” A person can save someone else’s life one day at a time by comforting a friend in need, offering to buy a homeless person food, tutoring someone through school subjects they do not understand or complimenting a person who looks discouraged.
Every good thing done, whether big or small, is creating ripple effects through communities like the way a small stone thrown in a lake creates waves. The change starts with a simple adjustment in the way that each person thinks, and realizing the unique gifts inside them. Batman is not the only superhero. In fact, everyone has a Batman inside of them.
Opinion by Joyce Chu