Sunday, October 7, 2012

"Everyday Hero"*

File:Cat in tree03.jpgCue upbeat music. The scene is a busy metropolitan street, people walking dogs, commuters hailing taxis, and so on. Our hero strolls down the street confidently, waving and smiling to the people he passes. Everyone smiles back.

VOICE OVER:

It looks pretty glamorous, what I do. Rushing around, helping folks.

As monologue proceeds, switch back and forth between close-ups of our hero talking and various images of him cheerfully working: Rescuing a kitten from a tree and receiving a grateful hug from little old lady. Putting out a fire in a warehouse. Sitting in a park, playing chess or feeding the pigeons with the old men. Playing with young children on some OHSA-approved playground equipment. All smiles and laughter.

And I do really love my job. It feels good to know that everyday I’m helping someone and making the world a little better. People tend to like me. [He chuckles.] I get lots of thank-you cards. Oh sure, there are crises and sometimes it feels like the world’s about to end, but that’s just part of my line of work.

I’ve tried a lot of things in my life. I was great at some of them, and some left me feeling like I got hit by a train. But I kept picking myself up and dusting myself off. That’s just what you have to do—keep trying until you find what works. These days I’m pretty happy with who I am. I’ve worked hard to get here, and I think confidence and strength really pay off. I feel like I can overcome any obstacle in my path.

But it hasn’t always been easy.

Cue serious, thoughtful music. Our hero now sits alone on a couch in a little middle-class home. Blurry photos hang on the wall behind him. Lighting is soft, yellowy.

See, my parents gave me away when I was just a baby. I was adopted by this sweet older couple, and they loved me so much. They gave me everything they could and tried to instill good values in me. But there came a time when I questioned everything. Why did my parents send me away? What was I supposed to do in this world? I just didn’t know where I belonged anymore. When I was at my lowest point, so sure I couldn’t fall any more, my best friend turned on me. He’d been the person I was positive I could always turn to, and now he was doing his best to destroy me. It was a dark time. I felt so alone, like no one would ever understand me, like no one had any idea who I really was.

And then one day there was a knock on my door, and it was these two nice young men with the same first name, wearing suits and ties and little nametags.

Our hero smiles, reminiscing.

Well, of course I let them in. We talked and they told me a story that sounded even stranger than my life. Learning about that First Vision was a real eye-opener. I could certainly relate, seeing and doing things that other people couldn’t see or do. I saw that maybe there really was a reason I was here on earth. I realized that my strengths could serve a higher purpose. I saw that there would always be someone who knew me, no matter what.

Increase music peppiness, brighten mood.

Oh sure, the transition hasn’t been easy. I get asked a lot of questions about why I have funny little clothing lines under my uniform—and believe me, they show. And it’s sometimes hard to explain why I don’t do a lot of work on Sundays—you know, unless the ox is really in the mire. But when I see what I’ve gained by my faith, I know that it’s all worth it.

Scene is metropolitan skyline. Tiny speck speeds across the horizon and up to the top of a skyscraper. Quick zoom in. Now our hero stands, arms crossed and muscles bulging, on top of the skyscraper. Sun is setting in background. Wind whips his cape to the side.

I believe in the power of the individual. I understand what it means to be in the world but not of it. I wear tights and a cape. I’m faster than a speeding bullet. My name is Superman, and I’m a Mormon.


*This story was written as a lighthearted take on the “I’m a Mormon” ad campaign (of which you can see examples at mormon.org). In a brainstorming session one night it occurred to me that it might be funny if various superheroes were members of my faith. There was just something that tickled me about the idea. So I figured, why not?

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Love the ending! That is just so awesome, and who else but you would come up with this? That's a compliment by the way. I'm always amazed by your ability to look at things in ways that I wish I looked at things. Love you!

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