The Power to Inspire, The Responsibility to Succeed


I’ve learned in my life, now more than ever, that getting involved is difficult. Going out into the big, bad world and finding your way is eye-opening, motivating, and incredibly challenging. Hever, it’s important that students seek out new experiences because of all that they will learn about themselves. Personally, almost every quality that I’ve come to respect about myself was discovered from a completely new experience. My boldest endeavour: taking a trip to Kenya to contribute to a school building project. For someone who had only traveled outside of the country once in his life, it was a huge step. I was (and still am) quite shy, not to mention a little immature and naïve, but it turned out to be the greatest learning experience I’ve ever had. If you have yet to travel internationally, your first trip will be the most challenging and rewarding opportunity you’ve ever had.

The inspiration to do something courageous is often sporadic and it always occurs differently for everyone. I look to one of the world’s greatest pop culture icons for motivation; I’m a geek, so it’s obviously not a singer, an actor, or an athlete. He’s a fictional character with girl problems, teenage angst, and super villains. You guessed it: it’s your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man! You’ve obviously heard the news: Spidey will be joining Captain America, Iron Man, and the other Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s exciting news for everyone’s favourite wall crawler; fans will finally (hopefully) receive the Spider-Man movie we’ve been wanting for over a decade, which means the hero will be bigger and more popular than he’s ever been. That’s saying something, too—Spider-Man is one of the most profitable pop culture brands in the world, with over $1 billion worth of merchandise sold with his likeness last year alone. He’s a big deal for Disney, and an even bigger deal for millions of people around the world.

Spidey isn’t my favourite superhero, but I would argue that he’s the greatest one. He’s imperfect but relatable, besides the fact that he has spider powers. More importantly, he overcomes and inevitably triumphs whatever hardships come his way. Be they super-villains or challenges with his girlfriend, Spider-Man keeps on keeping on stronger than ever. That’s what I admire about him; despite the odds, he doesn’t give up until he ultimately succeeds. Through personal tragedy, he forged his destiny as an under appreciated good guy with great power and the greater responsibility to do what’s right. He doesn’t do it for the fame or the glory (which, surprise, he doesn’t often get), but to honour a promise he made to himself after he refused to act selflessly. Spidey represents the power of the human spirit to persevere and inspire others, which leads me to believe that he’s the ultimate pop culture hero.

The character is fictional, but he represents human qualities that are entirely real. His exploits invigorate me to get involved, even if that might seem downright impossible to do. But if Spider-Man can overcome, then I can too. Whoever serves as your inspiration, real or not, remember them when in pursuit of your goals. You might not have superpowers, but you’re capable of anything when you put your heart and soul into it.