Today I took my six-year old to see Iron Man. Good entertainment.
I don't want to spoil the story for you, but as the name implies, a guy makes an invulnerable suit of armor and beats up bad guys with it. Lots of cool SFX and a hero you can really identify with.
To me, we can all be heroes. We have the potential. We cannot make an invulnerable suit of armor, but we can have something almost as good. We can train.
Our training in martial arts is a great way to help us find that hero inside. It is a way of developing the willpower, discipline, and humility that allow us to help others in need; to become a giver rather than a taker.
The armor we make and wear is impossible to see. It is the armor of self-confidence. This armor is not bullet-proof, but it can protect you from a lot of other harm. It is armor that will will make you strong, and will protect you from being a victim of abuse, not just physical, but emotional and spiritual as well. It can make you a kind of "Iron Man".
Becoming a hero is not easy. In this movie, the main character had to overcome a lot of things and make some mistakes to realize his calling in life. We often have to do the same. Because not everyone can understand our choices, sometimes it even means leading a dual life, and keeping one of our identities secret from others - until they can understand who we really are.
I am not suggesting everyone run out and buy a cape and a pair of tights. Being a hero does not always mean saving the world. We can be heroes every day to the people around us. We can be heroes by being good examples of what is right and just, and by being a positive influence in the lives of others. This can and should start at home with our own families.
I encourage you to help make your world a better place by training hard and finding the hero I know is inside you. Rest assured I will be doing the same.
See you around Gotham City...