As research for my upcoming book and new series, I have been doing some homework on two people with very different personalities, who have left a big impression during the last century. While they worked in dissimilar fields, both brought an unconventional view during their time and were brave enough to share it.
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” –Albert Einstein
I was originally drawn to this quote because Albert Einstein will be a spirit in my next series, teaching math and science to high school students in a school run by ghosts. All that aside, I believe having the confidence to stand up to those who don’t believe in you is a superpower. Of course, that is easier done when you are considered a genius.
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous that absolutely boring.” –Marilyn Monroe
The second person who will appear as a spirit in my series, teaching Psyche of the Spirit in a Physical Body is Marilyn Monroe. I consider standing out from the crowd a superpower, and one that Marilyn portrayed so well.
I can’t write a post on confidence without discussing Chelsea Steinem from my young adult, fantasy series, Olivia Hart and the Gifted Program. In the series, her “Gift” or special ability was invisibility. She explains how, just like her sarcasm and wit, her ability to disappear is like a shield, insulating her from other’s hurtful opinions.
As a fantasy fiction author and reader, I am constantly thinking about superpowers.
Speed. Strength. Invisibility. Magic. Charm….
All terrific abilities to have and useful when defeating the big bad enemy, but none of these traits are the supreme reason for the hero’s success. The way I see it, the ultimate superpower is optimism.
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world,” said the King of the Dwarves, Thorin Oakenshield, who recognized hobbits were the true heroes, doing good for the sake of doing good, without further goals or desires.
While I agree it is their selflessness that should be revered, I also think it is their optimism. There is something to be said about persevering with a positive outlook as you helplessly stare your enemy in the eye.
It’s the same “Can-Do-It” attitude the unsung hero, Neville Longbottom, portrays when he grabs the sword of Gryffindor and takes down the Dark Lord’s snake.
Although applied to fight a different type of enemy, I watched the power of optimism in action last night. I attended a jazz class taught by a fabulous women named Ann, who’s mother had just passed away. To add insult to injury as if to mock her and say ‘try being happy now,’ it was also the teacher’s birthday.
Ann, with the help of her friends in the class who dressed in animal print to show their support, was an optimistic superhero and beat down the enemy. The class became a joyful tribute to her mother, and we danced our hearts out with glee.
I was truly touched with her parting words for the night. “Create your own happiness, and keep dancing.” — Ann Barrett