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Meta: The choice is everything

I probably should explain why I like Wolverine as much as I do. You see, I like dangerous characters. Let me clarify: I like characters that have the capacity to be dangerous but chose not to be. Wolverine is the epitome of that archetype. He's the cowboy, the samurai, the lone wolf warrior, he is the person who understands exactly what darkness lurks in the hearts of human beings and yet choses not to become that darkness. Well, not unless pushed into it.

I understand that is unpopular stance in today's world. In our world, potential for danger and violence equals danger and violence. It's why we fear pit bulls or people with guns or trained soldiers. Our society does not recognize personal responsibility or restraint. Or, when it does, it sees it as something that only a very few, very select group of people have. If I say I have a gun and have the ability to use that gun accurately and efficiently (which I do and can), I become a threat, a danger, a person to be suspect of. In today's society, my potential to be violent automatically makes me violent.

I walked out of the local Walgreen's last Sunday and outside the door there was this very large man with very large muscles and an equal number of tattoos. He had with him probably the largest pit bull I have ever seen. This dog's head was massive and he was a solid as a bolder. Those two beings belonged together. When I walked out, the man and dog were just standing there, not right up next to the building, but not out in the middle of the parking lot, either. As I walked by I said, to the dog, "Hello, boy, aren't you beautiful". Because he was. After a beat, the man said "Thank you."

"Thank you."

Why? Because I didn't look at them and equate potential danger with actual danger. I didn't assume that because they could be violent, that they would be violent. There was nothing aggressive or threatening or scary in how they were acting. The dog was calm and relaxed and had I not been in a hurry I would have talked to the man about him.

The true key for being human is knowing our own dark sides and choosing not to act on them. It's not pretending that we don't have dark sides, it's not hiding away all those people who have the capacity to be dangerous -- because, baby, that's all of us.

Our choices that we make every day - to be good, to do right, to choose the honorable and just way of life - that is what makes us noble and worthy. And we have to do that despite the cruel and capricious world that we live in. When we deny others that choice, when we assume that they can't make that choice because of how they look or how they act or what they know or what they own, we deny them the most fundamental of all human rights: the right to choose who they want to be.

That's what I love about Wolverine. Everyday he choses to be more than his dangerous potential. Everyday he makes the choice for good and not for evil. Everyday he understands that you don't have to be the potential evil that lurks inside of you, that you can choose who you are.

Choose wisely.


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Jul. 28th, 2013 02:19 am (UTC)
Lovely and articulate. I love Wolverine for that reason as well. Plus all the angst that decision everyday produces. SIGH
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