Heroic Moment: The Mighty Mouse Syndrome


"Here I come to save the day!" The words and music of the Mighty Mouse theme are familiar and triumphant, and the diminutive hero has been beloved for generations.

But, does the pint-sized punch-thrower point to our greatest weakness as human beings? Or, worse yet, does the "Mighty Mouse" syndrome prevent the rest of us from stepping up to become our very best?

It is great to be a hero. There is the glory of swooping in at the last minute, the satisfaction of having made a real difference in the lives of others, not to mention the keys to cities and parades that politicians insist on providing as recognition. (Results may vary.)

But do you want to save the day, or do you want to save the world?

To save the day, you need only swoop in and swoop out. But, it's a good bet you'll be back soon.

A famous story of a young child throwing starfish back into the sea reminds us that one person can make a difference... "to that one".

But, why stop there?

In order to truly save the world, or your community, or your group, it is important to not only "save the day," but to also "pave the way". Our greatest heroes empower the people around them, and inspire us to be our very best.

In the below video, a group of people wanted to change behavior, from a health-neutral one (riding the escalator) to a health-positive one (taking the stairs). Even better, they changed the behavior by making it easy and fun.

So, with apologies to Mighty Mouse, Marshall Barer, and Phillip Scheib... "Heroes come to pave the way!"


(A very special thank you to Nikki Letawsky Shultz, who inspired this post.)