Do YOU have what it takes to be a superhero?
Rather, do YOU have what it takes to not abuse your powers?
The beginning of a recent conversation with fellow BYTS author (and my roommate) Theo went as follows….
“Do you ever have thoughts during the day that would disqualify you from having superpowers? In the same way that people say, if I won a million dollars, I would do all these good things; it’s easy to say that when you don’t have a million dollars. In the same way, people hypothesize about having super powers and say, I would only use them for good. Do you ever have thoughts and then immediately afterward think, “Well, obviously I would have failed the only do good part.”
Immediately, let me point out that I am NOT talking about anything malevolent or seriously nefarious. Instead, I am talking about more subtle actions.
Go ahead and scroll down a little so you don’t have a melting Nazi head in your screen.
Let’s pretend there is a particularly annoying customer at a coffee shop and to bring about some subjective Brian Justice, I use my powers of telekinesis to knock his cup of iced coffee 1 onto his lap. Or perhaps a reckless driver is actin’ a fool on the road and to bring about the safety everyone else, I can make his tires start deflating. Are these wrong?
The possibilities of using abilities for these reasons are seemingly endless (turning invisible to convince some idiot that his house is haunted by a ghost and eating all the food in the fridge in the process) so I will spare you any more examples.
The core idea here is that there are many little occurrences throughout the day that really make me feel that I would probably abuse greater power if it was given to me. Once again, these are not done in a horrible way, but small little events that, at most, inconvenience other people (other people usually being people who were being jerks to start with). With my personality especially, it would be very hard to keep from doing things to simply entertain myself. If I was in the Harry Potter 2 universe, you best believe I would have spent a great deal of time with Fred and George Weasley. I’m no superman, and that is probably a good thing.
My real question is would it be wrong for a superhero to use their powers to embarrass everyday annoying people?
What about you? Do you ever have moments throughout the day where it’s probably in the best interest of others that you don’t have super powers?
1 The coffee must be iced for at least two reasons. One, hot coffee could potentially harm the person which isn’t the goal with my minor abuses of power. Two, if he is hurt, there is the possibility that the man could sneak past the ruling of the court of common sense and be awarded damages due to the hot beverage spilling on him therefore resulting in a positive outcome for the man, minus the burnt giblets, which would negate the original reasoning for spilling his drink.
2 I know. It’s not superpowers, it’s magic. Whether a person flies on a broom or by destroying physics, they are both flying better than I usually can, so I’m not that concerned.