If I told you that you could be like Superman, what would you say? Would you be up to it? The truth is, you can be.
The Superman that many of us know and remember is characterized by fantasy and hyperbole. The "Man of Steel" was "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound," and he fought dinosaurs, mad scientists, and other-worldly villains.
But, it wasn't always that way.
In the beginning, Superman was the only fantastical element in the series. As the United States struggled to re-emerge following the Great Depression and the outset of World War II, Superman inspired Americans to call upon their highest principles, and to act on their values. He is described as the champion of the helpless and the oppressed, and he combated real-world social evils, from dangerous working conditions and drunk drivers, to abusive parents and corrupt businessmen and politicians.
The creators and writers were calling Americans to be their very best, and to not stand by as corruption, deceit, and real-life villains infiltrated their lives, including the Ku Klux Klan and Nazi Germany. Superman, the original comic book hero, was both a blueprint to follow and an inspirational call to action.
Beginning early in the history of the United States, another group of women and men gave us inspiring stories of character, honor, and integrity, handed down to us through symbolic stories. Those individuals were, of course, the founders of fraternal organizations. In the Ritual ceremonies we practice, we experience their blueprint and call to action.
By acting on our fraternal values, we have the opportunity to become the champions of the helpless and the oppressed, and to combat real-world social evils.
We can be heroes.
Are you up to it?