Be your own Superhero !
Making the world (yes, even the world outside your classroom) a better place is completely realistic and doable—and doesn’t require a cape or tights.
“Hero” is such a big word. Often, it conjures images of muscled men in masks and costumes who can effortlessly lift trucks and cars with one hand, or swoop in to catch damsels falling from tall buildings. Other times, it makes you think of valiant, selfless, incredibly passionate historical figures who died fighting for our country’s honor and freedom: Dr. Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Ninoy Aquino. “Hero” is such a big word—too big, in fact, that it is a word we rarely associate with ourselves.
But if you start with the simple, seemingly ordinary things in your everyday life, heroism shouldn’t be alien or intimidating at all. Everyone can be a hero, and heroic acts are all around us, happening all the time—because being a hero usually just means standing up for the things you believe in and taking care of the people you love. “Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference,” author David Nicholls says in his bestselling novel, One Day. “Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion… and work hard at something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.” Everyone can truly be a hero—because being a hero usually just means being the best version of yourself that you can possibly be.
Your Superpower: Saving Precious Time
At some point, you’ve probably felt like 24 hours in a day is simply not enough to accomplish everything, and you’ve probably wished you can freeze time so that you can catch up with the things on your dauntingly lengthy to-do list. Yet what most people often fail to realize is that it isn’t a matter of doing everything, but a matter of knowing what to do first. Prioritize the things that are both important AND urgent; for example, at seven in the morning, while your kids are busy getting ready for school, your dinner menu and the growing pile of laundry are important but not urgent, while the coffee stain on your blouse is urgent but probably not as important as helping your son find his missing homework. At the end of the day, this twin-pack of superpowers will come in handy: forgiving yourself for the things you didn’t quite get to finish in the past 24 hours, and believing that tomorrow is always a brand new start.
”Being a hero just means being the best version of yourself that you can possibly be.”
Your Superpower: Battling Teen Drama
One minute, your daughter is a sweet, polite, little girl who adores you, and the next thing you know, she’s moody, sulky, and doesn’t seem to want to talk to you about anything. Your kid is growing up too fast, and you often feel like you are being shut out. How do you deal? When communicating with teenagers, it’s essential to balance giving them space with letting them know that you will be there for them no matter what. It’s also a good thing to remember that disagreements are inevitable—you won’t always see eye to eye, and yes, there will be a few shouting matches and slammed doors here and there. It’s easy to lose your temper or turn into a hovering, overbearing parent, but a Super Mom will rise above her emotions and keep in mind that teen drama can often be subdued with honest conversation and firm but fair rules. As long as a teenager feels loved, appreciated, and understood, chances are she’ll grow up to be a wonderful, responsible, secure person, just like you.
Your Superpower: Zapping Gossip
The temptation to partake in office gossip is a strong one. It’s entertaining to talk about the juicy details of your co-workers’ lives (like who’s dating who, and who got pregnant out of wedlock, or who’s cheating on whom), and admittedly, there is a certain twisted pleasure that can be derived from dissecting and judging other people’s personal choices and private activities. Think about it, though—in the long run, does office gossip ever really do anyone any good? It hurts feelings, damages reputations, destroys relationships, and in the worst scenarios, causes even the most competent people to lose their jobs. So every time you feel the urge to dish out some harmful gossip or spread a hot piece of news you just overheard at the faculty room, ask yourself if it’s worth all the trouble it will eventually amount to. Take the noble route and choose to keep the information to yourself, whether or not you have confirmed its veracity. You’ll discover that staying away from gossip will not only make other people respect you more, but make YOU respect yourself more as well.
Your Superpower: X-Ray Vision
Heroes are selfless, seeing beyond their own needs and conveniences. They are also open-minded and generous with their trust, seeing beyond the surface and always giving people the benefit of the doubt. In a world that has made a habit out of being cynical and highly suspicious, it can be quite difficult to give someone a chance to prove himself. But as a teacher, you have an advantage over everyone else because you’ve had enough practice in seeing the good in someone within the four walls of your classroom; every day, you strive to bring out only the best in your students, looking beyond their mistakes and digging deeper to reveal the great potential within them. Every day, you look at them through the eyes of someone who believes in them unconditionally. The other people in your life—family members, colleagues, and friends—definitely deserve to be empowered by your unwavering faith too.
Your Superpower: A Megawatt Smile
Although heroism does require a great deal of sacrifice, it doesn’t mean being a doormat or completely giving up the things you love. It doesn’t mean being unhappy, or depriving yourself, or downplaying your value as a person. If anything, it means the exact opposite—celebrating yourself, your life, and your big and small achievements in the hopes that you can serve as an inspiration to others. It’s the little things that truly count: quiet words of encouragement, a pat on the back for a job well done, and a bright, cheerful smile willingly given to a friend or a stranger. The bottom line is that heroic acts don’t have to be grand or complicated—sometimes, all you really need to do to light up the world is spread a little bit of sunshine to the people around you.