• October 1st, 2020

Raising Naneni - Be cautious of the superman complex

It is rather ironic how the Covid-19 global pandemic (which some feel is an apocalypse), proved to me how desperate society has made us to aspire to be heroes.

My friend Tauno joked about a 10-year-old who decided to offer classes to his friends during stage 4 of lockdown. The boy was deemed as a hero. As noble as this act was, in hindsight it was actually careless. During a time when schools were closed, social distancing a priority, not only did the kids leave the safe confinement of their homes, they gathered to “play” school. Reporters too attended to this careless activity in search of the big “scoop”. 

In my opinion, the hero is the child who adhered to all regulations and stayed indoors as difficult as it was, because we all know that it is hard to get a child to sit still and not roam around and play with friends.

Someone close to me lives in India. Not only was his entire housing complex quarantined due to reported Covid-19 cases, they also suffered from a devastating cyclone that damaged out so much of the city’s infrastructure. Some after cyclone Amphan, they were invaded by swarms of locusts. I said to him that he is very heroic. To experience all these calamities at once, and still be able to laugh.
He quickly brushed off the compliment. He said, “No, no. You are thinking too highly of me. I am just an ordinary dude.” In my opinion, we need to stop assuming that heroes wear capes and that all heroes receive noble prizes.  Ordinary people, doing ordinary things are heroes too. The idea that heroism has to be measured on a scale is objective, especially when what is brave to someone is not to another. Someone who beats cancer is heroic, someone who went to war is heroic, someone who maintains a positive outlook on life is heroic, even someone who is able to walk away from a toxic relationship is heroic. 

If ordinary people, who make ordinary efforts, but effort nonetheless, are always made to feel as though they are not good enough, not doing enough, are we then not just a society that bullies people into feeling worthless while simultaneously encouraging people to take risks, and at times careless risks in a bid to gain the hero status?

Do you or your child suffer from a superman or superwoman complex? According to a Healthy Place, you might have the complex if you adhere to unrealistically high standards of yourself, can’t or won’t acknowledge a need for rest and breaks, are a workaholic, believe you must be “on” all the time or measure your self-worth in terms of productivity.

As millennial parents, can you recognise a time when your child was a hero? Just the other day, I was gravely unwell. I cooked really good food but unexpectedly fell asleep not only without eating but also before putting the food in the refrigerator. I woke up the next morning worried that the food went bad. To my surprise, my four year old fed herself and after that carefully placed the food in the refrigerator. In that moment, she was a hero! My hero! She saved the food!
“It is taking little action day by day that makes the world better. Starting with your family, your school, your community and ultimately your nation,” Phillip Zimbardo.
– raisingnaneni@gmail.com

Staff Reporter
2020-06-05 09:43:42 | 3 months ago

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