Not so easy to become capital 'S' Super unless you follow through four steps.
Step 1: You start off with a tragic backstory like the death of loved ones in a cinema hall back alley of an exploding planet. A fairly tragic one also works but may end up putting you on the bottom rung of superheroes. Like ridiculous Arm Fall-Off Boy (true comic story). His name is Floyd Belkin and he trained his arms so much for a competition that his arms literally fell off. But good for him, he could reattach them without any need for glue or shady doctors. The tragic part is not his backstory but his powers.
Step two is where you need to gain some kind of power but no arms falling off. Having the ability to set yourself on fire without dying is pretty cool if you are wondering.
Chapter 3: You need a life changing moment. Unless the backstory tragic occurrence IS your life changing moment. You need to catch a plane plummeting to the ground. Or watch a loving white haired uncle named Ben die because you were too lazy to accept great responsibility with your great power. Tough luck if you don't have an uncle named Ben.
And Step the Final: you act selflessly. You jump into the fire or volcano or into a god-like being's mouth hoping to come out the other end unscathed and unsoiled. Strike a few hero poses in between; chest puffed out, one arm on waist, chin toward the sky but not so much you break your neck.
And you are now Super.
Which brings us to one small problem. In real life, we have plenty of tragic backstories to fall upon. But spider bites often itch for hours or kill us outright if we happen to be silly enough to go to Australia. Gamma rays will also kill us instead of turning us into hulking mass of indestructible muscle. A super-fast lightning bolt will fry us, superfast. It seems trying to gain superpowers will simply leave us absolutely, completely, positively powerless. And lifeless too.
We could try the Batman, Black Widow, Punisher or Elektra move. Use access to almost ridiculous funding and train ourselves to be the best of the best. Unfortunately, we will still be prone to die from bullets or dengue mosquitoes.
And no one is born as an Amazonian or a Kryptonian. So powers by birth are impossible. Unless you are born to political families. Which means, we cannot really be superheroes. Well, not quite.
Last week we saw the uprising of young people once again to shout. They raised their voice against something that is killing us slowly like Ironman's chest shrapnel. This time, students had enough of the quota system for government job posts, where we let a lot of privileged persons to simply get a job regardless of how poor their skills may be, academic and practical.
Standing up against wrong: now that's the power of a hero/heroine. They stand up regardless how big the enemy is. And no enemy is bigger than the state. Well, not if you count Galactus the entity that eats planets as a midday snack to recoup his energy.
People have supported the movement on social media. Others went on site covering and disseminating what many of the media would not or could not.
We can't bombard ourselves with cosmic rays but we can raise our voice. Some will ask,“What is the point of being behind a keyboard and reacting on social media?” Because every act of defiance starts from people voicing their opinions together.
Here's how you become a real life hero in four steps.
Step 1: Tragic backstory? People are suffering all around you. They are no different than who you are.
Step 2: Gain the power of your voice. Speak up.
Step3: The life changing moment when you hear something going wrong. You know those Facebook headlines and links that show up? Those are the siren calls as you sift through your phone alerts.
Step 4: But everything is not always as they appear. Read the links, check-up, verify. Otherwise, Uncle Ben suffers.
What happens if we never stand up? Well, the powers that be act like Galactus and swallow us whole. Including Uncle Ben.
Ehsanur Raza Ronny is a confused dad, all-round car guy, model car builder, and cartoonist. He is also Editor of Shift (automobiles), Bytes (technology), and Next Step (career) of The Daily Star.