Superhero: Any of various comic-strip characters with superhuman abilities or magical powers, wearing a distinctive costume, and fighting against evil. (dictionary.com)
As seen in "The Avengers," superheroes fight against evil for the greater good of all mankind. "The Avengers" is a perfect movie example of what superheroes wear, who they are and what they're supposed to do. However, it isn't necessary that superheroes are fictional, but just that they fight for the same reasons as those characters found in your comic books.
Some examples of actual superheroes: Superbarrio in Mexico, Terrifica in New York City, The Eye in Mountain View, Calif., Citizen Prime in Phoenix, Ariz., Tothian in New Jersey and New York City, Mr. Silent in Indianapolis, Chris Guardian in New York City, Geist in Minnesota, and Foxfire in Michigan are just a few on a small list. Whether they protect women late at night, stop fights and muggings, catch bad guys, or file petitions, all of these people are real and they're looking out for us.
This world needs superheroes. There is something to be said for the Good Samaritan who stops and helps someone in need, even if it's just a small thing. People who volunteer at soup kitchens, donate to the homeless, set up fundraisers for people who need money and much more are all superheroes and should be regarded as such. You don't have to carry three people out of a burning building on your back to be labeled a hero. You don't even have to have a costume or some mad ninja skills.
Parents are superheroes too. How can we, as teenagers, fathom all that goes into raising children? Some of us under sad circumstances have to care for our siblings and essentially raise them, and others are dealing with teenage pregnancy, but should that stop us from recognizing our parents or role models and following in their footsteps? I say nay.
The main question is, "How can I, being in the age range of 16 to 18, be a hero for the world?" There is a simple answer. Sarah Ban Breathnach said it best in "Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy" in 1996: "The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do."
Most if not all teenagers have active imaginations. The dreaming part? I think we can hack it, but if we don't take steps in the right direction we won't be going anywhere and our dreams will be useless.
So when you're walking down a street window shopping, if you see someone that looks a little down, smile at them. What is the worst that can happen? It takes less muscles to smile than it does to frown. Make the effort. Or talking to someone or listening to their problems is something else we can do. Even if you don't have any advice, that person will feel better knowing there is someone out there who cares.
The most important thing is that we don't walk around with blinders on. Keep an open mind and open eyes and your brain will chart out a list of things you could do. Being the technology techies that we are, I am positive that we can fill a world with superheroes.
Taylor Deem will be a junior at Fremont High School in the fall. Email her at email@example.com.