There is a chance that even after I think this idea through and type it out I still won't truly know the answer, but I will know what one answer might be.
Why do I do it?
Ninety-seven percent of the time while reading comics or watching movies, television shows, reading history (or a version of it) I have been drawn to the hero and have been able to see myself in their place, making the choices they make ( will admit there is the three percentage of times where I do identify with the villain-that might be another blog). But why do I identify with the hero?
When I was not quite yet born my mother had an encounter with God, she believed in Jesus Christ and got saved (as the vernacular was in the late seventies and early eighties). Getting saved was important to her and my dad later on. She was saved from going to hell, saved from drinking, saved from smoking, and saved from living a life with low moral standards. Based on her words and my observations growing up, it was important for her that those she cared for got saved as well. I think this idea became ingrained in my personality, to save the people I care about.
Very early on I committed to follow Jesus Christ myself, pursued getting to know what that meant and how to live it out. This meant I needed to read about Christianity. I read everything C.S. Lewis had written, some of it twice and committed to reading or listening to the Bible, as part of my lifestyle. What I found was that Jesus came to find the people who were lost and to save them. Sometimes he saved them from other people, mostly he saved them from sickness and disease, and ultimately through dying and coming back to life saved their spirits from ultimate death. A commitment to follow Jesus Christ and become like him logically followed, in my mind, that I needed to do the same thing.
As a teen I was fairly obsessed with Star Wars, Star Trek, Comic Books, Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones. The theme in these stories is, for the most part, saving people, races, planets, and friends. I knew I wanted to be saving people.
Sometimes this saving came in ways that are not conventional, not sanctioned by society, or didn't even resemble the act of saving. But the theme was always helping those who needed help, even at the expense of self (see the example of Jesus Christ).A man must know his destiny… if he does not recognize it, then he is lost. By this I mean, once, twice, or at the very most, three times, fate will reach out and tap a man on the shoulder… if he has the imagination, he will turn around and fate will point out to him what fork in the road he should take, if he has the guts, he will take it.”― George S. Patton Jr.
The driving force behind what I do, in my work with youth and disadvantaged people is my connection to Jesus Christ. I endeavor to do everything out of love, sometimes my love, sometimes the love of God; sometimes it is a mix of both. The bible tells us that greater love has no one than this: to lay down his life for a friend. I believe this and feel compelled to live my life to help others.
I see this world as a beautiful connection of spirits, souls, and bodies. Some people have been disconnected from this beautiful connection. By helping people become their best and connecting them with others and with God, the world is as it should be. When this doesn't happen I feel pain, sorrow, and it fuels me to work harder than I think I can and do more than is required of me.
Based I what I know of God and have read, I have faith that what I am doing matters. Faith that everything, no matter how small, makes a difference. Faith that good always triumphs over evil. Faith that I am fulfilling my purpose and that God is taking care of me in that place. I do not always, or even often, see the positive outcomes, but I believe they are happening. I do not always have a perfect sense of how to best help people, but when I am afraid I become courageous. I think that courage is fear hanging on a minute longer. That is how the world is impacted, that is how people are saved, that is how I help. It is why I do it.
A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.-Christopher Reeve