What is our fascination with superheroes and Comic-con? In 2013, over 130,000 people attended, and in 2014, it will likely be far more as endless troves of fans descend upon the San Diego convention center.
Are we obsessed with any reality not our own? Are we fascinated with the opportunity to dream and almost experience a world of super-human abilities from X-men to the Avengers, or Superman to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Are our lives so mundane that we require respite from complacency?
We are sold the American dream through celebrities and super-heroes, the wealthy and the uber-successful, as we dream of lives free from worry, with more money and toys than one could ever imagine. Conceptually we understand that irrespective of our possessions, we are all human. Regardless the number of commas on our bank balance, we still sit upon the porcelain palace and regularly excrete the toxins from our daily life. Notwithstanding the title on our business card, we still suffer from illness and physical pain, and with no regard for our physical beauty or the color of our skin, our physical body will die at some point.
What do we truly seek if not to find fulfillment within the mundane and the seemingly rote aspects of our life?
Even Bill Gates, the richest man alive, finds joy from doing the dishes, something he clearly could outsource to a housekeeper or even a robot for that matter. If Bill Gates, the man who can have anything money can acquire, finds peace and harmony cleaning dirty dishes, then clearly our desire for more is fraught with failure.
We are obsessed not only with the lives of others, but the imagined realities of those we create if only in our imaginations. I admit that taking a break from the challenges in my own life is often obtained by immersing myself in the reality of another – although I’m not sure it’s the healthiest way.
We do all need a break from time to time, whether for perspective on our own lives, or to dream of a better way. As long as we don’t forget that we are truly in control of our own destiny, then looking outside of ourselves is often a great method of looking within.
Perhaps finding joy in the mundane is the real path to happiness…only time will tell.
In the meantime, we can look forward to “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” and likely “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and anything else the inspires our imagination and allows us to dream.