WHY POWER IS ALREADY IN OUR HANDS..OR IS IT?
“In brightest day,
in blackest night,
no evil shall escape my sight,
let those who worship evil’s might,
beware my power,
Green Lantern’s light!”
-Green Lantern ‘Creed’
I never could wrap my head around the desire of villains for power as a child. I always thought that they were just being dumb and irrational. Not until I realized how wrong I was. If ever any one of you have had this same question at the back of your minds, well, this is your lucky day. The desire for power is a very familiar desire…in fact, an all-too-familiar one. Ever since men could begin telling tales and handing down fables, we have been experts at conveying our deepest needs through these avenues.
There have been others who throughout history have observed this peculiar trend. It is not an unfamiliar desire to the world, but rather an innate, relatable desire that each of its own shares. Ancient world comic playwright, Terence, had this concept grasped well. He is recorded as saying, “I am a human, I consider nothing human alien to me”. This is what I feel is going on with this phenomenon.
Strange as it might seem, the villains/antagonists in many tales are not exactly that far off from what we can relate to. They are embodiments of the same desires we have as most, but corrupted in one way or the other. I hope we get to see it, that villains, like we ourselves in the real world often times have very good motives but there’s a small difference between them and the protagonists: They are willing to give up everything.
As a certain man in a popular play once said, “the strongest man, is the man who is willing to stand alone”. This, he said when he knew that the town had turned against him because of one thing, the truth. It always seemed unfair, I thought, that villains never quite got their comeuppance the way they thought they would. What’s sadder is that no matter how brilliant or powerful they were, they always failed! Till today (although they aren’t quite villains in my books and it’s still an arguable point), Pinky and the Brain from the Animaniacs have never quite taken over the world.
Self-pursuit is crucial in these tales but not at the expense of others. If you’ve noticed by now, the world’s greatest figures gave up a lot. As a Christian, I see that more in Jesus. I see him as the culmination of all these great historic figures because he did the impossible; he lived it out his entire life and died and humiliating death to prove his devotion to his divine cause. Stranger still there is no one in history who is forgotten for making the sacrifices they did to help others reach their destinies and Jesus is at the peak of this hierarchy.
So, we see that power is really no power. As the Green Lantern, Hal Jordan from DC Comics demonstrated in the Darkseid War, true will power is not pursuit of power but giving it up. In this he demonstrated true strength. I had been thinking about this for a while now and that’s why I feel that it’s the right time to share this insight. For as Hal Jordan relinquished his godlike power, so do I see Jesus “consider it nothing to be equal with God and went ahead to make himself nothing…making himself a slave”.
“Surrender to selfish gain is the beginning of the path to peace, incorruptibility and happiness.”
NB: Fun fact; Hal Jordan is the most celebrated of Lanterns for his ability to lead by example. I am no big fan of Hal or the Lanterns but I find some co-relations remarkable to my own faith.