Everyday, I venture out into my day with a healthy dose of idealism. I like to believe that people are good, and I work to see the good in people, even when most difficult.
This is why I struggled with the Batman movie: The Dark Knight. I love Batman. I grew up watching the tv series with jumping bananas Batman and Robin.
Batman/Bruce Wayne is an ordinary man. The joker is an ordinary man. Two face is an ordinary man. Gordon is an ordinary man. Yet, Gotham is havocked by crime and despair. The movie paints Gotham (as it should according to plot) as a very bleak and dismal city.
I walked away from the movie with a heavy heart, searching for optimism. These weren’t superheroes who ravaged a city and killed for pleasure. Just men. These weren’t superheroes whose hearts were hardened by bitterness, anger and unfair circumstances, but fellow, ordinary, human beings.
Indeed, the Joker, as Batman and Gordon state, got the best of them by showing that even a great man, Gotham’s White Knight, Harvey Dent, can be hardened.
I walked out of the theater finding it hard not to be hardened as well. All the work we do in social marketing, nonprofits, social change…where’s it all going and what’s it doing? What’s the solution? How do we inspire others not to let their hearts become hardened?
Though I left the movie more torn about life’s deeper issues than I have in a long time, I refused to be give in. Instead, I see it as a new challenge to rise above and as a community, address and solve. For Batman was an ordinary man. So was Gordon. and Alfred. and Mother Teresa. Ghandi. Martin Lurther King, Jr.