Anyone who reads this blog (and I know there are one or two of you out there) know that I love metaphors, with Superman-as-Saviour being one of my favourites.
Superman is a modern mythical figure, most often portrayed as a Jesus (noble, strong, disciplined, sacrificial-oriented - the adult in the room) than a Heracles.
Superman is not of our world, does not have the same faults and flaws that we do, but as he lives in human form he is a bridge, an embodiment of something more powerful that lies beyond us.
We can always look to Superman to right wrongs or make the world better. In much the same way, people of faith look to their chosen saviour to emerge and reset the world to right, ensuring the bad guys get penalized along the way.
Except there are no supermen out there. Sorry to the believers out there, but I see on evidence that a divine or semi-divine hero is ever going to emerge to rebuild paradise on earth.
There is only us. We are flawed - selfish, short-sighted, reactive, disingenuous, ignorant.
But we are capable of so much more.
It doesn't take a secret serum nor a noble birth to transform us into leaders, problem-solvers and community-builders. There's no need for an act of divine grace for us to grow beyond the prejudices and wrongs that tether us to the past.
We do not live in the past; every day forward is what we choose to make it be. Nobody can change that reality except us.
This is a theme emerging in today's mythic narrative telling, the notion that hero's aren't external, or divine, or in any way foreign; they are us, when that's what we choose to be.
In the LEGO Movie, the hero was supposed to be the greatest, most interesting, most important person of all times. That was what most of the main characters wanted to be - special.
It may have taken a Jesus-like death and rebirth for the main protagonist (Emmett, who's name means hope) to realize the truth, but he did, and he shared it.
We all have it within ourselves to be the hero. It's not always easy, but we can all make the world better. But if we're all off trying to be our best individually, we aren't building anything that will last. That's something we can only do together - but when we do it together, everything does get better.
Think of a Guinness Book of World Records competition, or the way people came together on the ground at the Boston Marathon bombing, or to help people they'd never met who've suffered from famines, floods and other acts of God.
As another man who has walked among us once said:
It's been six days... and we're all still waiting. Waiting for someone to come. Well, what if they don't?
Before, most of us were strangers, but we're all here now and God knows how long we're gonna be here.
There is no us and them. There's only us, on common ground - whether we're capable of seeing it or not.
That and only that is the real secret.