Ode to Superman, my real-life hero in a difficult world

When I was a child, there was one person that I looked up to as my hero. He was someone who did not know the meaning of the word “quit.” He would also never let himself get pushed into a corner. However, despite the great qualities mentioned, these were not the reasons why this man was my hero. The reason that he was my hero was that no matter how bad the situation was, he never gave up hope.

Who is this hero that I talk about? Why, it’s Superman, of course. And even though I am a college student, he is still one of my heroes.

Why? Why would I name Superman as one of the individuals that I look now?

The world is a cruel place. In a perfect world, there would be no pain or suffering. In this world, however, one finds diseases that cause people to live in torture-diseases that have no cure. In a perfect world, there would be food and shelter for all. In this world, though, one doesn’t have to travel far before one sees a person on the street starving and without a home. In a perfect world, there would be peace and harmony. In this world, we fight wars against people who aren’t afraid to commit suicide in order to kill us. If I didn’t have hope, the world’s cruelty would make me miserable.

But because of a Superman, I look at the world through eyes of hope.

Some may say to me, “But Gary, he’s a comic book character.”

This is true. But he was also a man named Christopher Reeve. He was a man who got paralyzed throughout most of his body. He was a man who fought to be able to walk again. He was a man whose perseverance got him to make some progress when everyone thought that he would never be able to move anything in his body. He left this world early but continued to fight to the end. He was just a man, but to me, he was Superman.

He had hope until the end, and that is why I have hope and why Superman is my hero.

Heroes make us aspire to be better than who we are. Let us always keep them in our hearts and memories.

Dedicated to Christopher Reeve


Gary Robillard can be contacted at g.robillard@umiami.edu.