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8_What all great superheroes have in common- Alex Sheen at [email protected] (1)

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I have a belief, a belief that I am going to spend next 14 minutes, trying to convince you to belief and that centers around superheroes and their characteristics. Now, we all understand what superheroes are right? As Americans, in fact as humans were sort of obsessed with the superhero concepts. When we were kids, we dress up as superheroes. Right? And then when we grow older well.. I guess, things don't change. That much. Maybe a little bit. We obsessed with super heroes we love their powers, right. The list is long, superheroes are super human strength ice manipulation, mind control, super human speed, the ability to talk to fish, no, may be not But I want to contest this thought I want to contest the thought that we love superheroes because of their super powers. I want to contest this thought that if there is something else that pulls us to the story lines something much more emotional, and something I guess that is much more every day human. And there's a single word that defines this, 'promise' the ability to make and keep a promise, a commitment. Now, there is a Doctor Robin Rosenberg who writes about the psychology of the story lines for super heroes. She has written for 'Psychology today' ******, in this article, for the Smithsonian magazine, she talked about the psychology behind the original stories of superheroes. And in these 3 different types you see a promise, let's take the first one for example, The first type is want of trauma, how superheroes are made and this is best illustrated by the story of batman, which I think many of us are familiar with. At a young age, Bruce Wayne would witness both of his parents die, they would both be shot in front of him and depicted for the first time in 1935 this scene, Bruce Wayne by his bed says, " I swear by the spirits of my parents, to avenge their deaths, by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals." His commitment, his promise. The second type, sheer chance the gorgeous story, sheer chance. Now, you might think of spider-man right? By sheer chance he has bitten by radio active spider and get the super abilities, where super abilities don't define you as a super hero because if that were true then all villians would also be super heroes. What defines you as a super hero is your promise, a commitment and in this type of sheer chance you see it, in a story of Peter Parker, see he used his abilities as a professional wrestler to make money that was how he first uses abilities and he got off stage once, after a match and there's a robber that passed by him and he didn't do anything to stop that robber. Cop was winded right, right after so why didn't you stop him? Peter Parker said that's not my job that's not my responsibility, the robber would go on to kill Peter Parker's Uncle Ben Peter realized, what is uncle is trying to teach him with great powers comes great responsibility and Peter Parker vowed to fight for good. A promise. And a third type, destiny. Right. Even in destiny, when it's a chosen one this is meant to happen still a promise exists take Harry Potter for example, so committed to good that he is willing to give his own life. In opposite, Anikan Skywalkars destined to become the greatest Jedi in the universe but he never makes the promise to good, and he becomes darth vader. Trauma, sheer chance, destiny no matter your origin as a superhero the ability to make and keep a promise always present. This is something very strange and I believe very fortunate because, the only ability that ties all superheroes together the only common ability just so happens to be the only ability that we can have as everyday people. To keep our promises, everyday people. April 3rd, 1968 Doctor Martin Luther King Junior continues his fight for civil rights in America. He gives his speech in Memphis Tennessee He speaks to a promise, a promise that he actually didn't make a promise in the constitution has made everyone in this room, to me a promise to freedom of speech, a promise to freedom of assembly. See, Martin Luther King, he didn't make that promise himself but he took that promise and he owned it he took it and he made his own and that night, he would speak to the importance of that commitment. You see, Martin Luther King Junior was a man of unwavering commitment. He received death threats constantly, 1956, his home was bombed, but a man of unwavering commitment I said, and so on the night of April 3rd, 1968 Martin Luther King Junior would give a speech, and speak to the death threats given to him. and I have seen the promise land I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I'm happy tonight; I'm not worried about anything, I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. the next day Martin Luther King Junior would be assassinated shot and killed in his pursuit, in his commitment, the ability to make and keep a promise. Now you might wander, why I am so interested in this thought of a promise, and I guess like, most people in life I have dates that I remember. You see, my father was someone who was good with his promises, he was someone who said, if he is gonna be there he showed up, was that simple. September 4th 2012, I woke up to watch my father die he would succumb to stage for small cell lung cancer, I was asked to give his eulogy I chose, to talk about the importance of a promise and for the first time I handed out one of these, it's a piece of paper, are called a promise card it says, because I said I would, in the corner, on the front and nothing else. Its very easy to use. What you do is you write a promise, on the card, a commitment You give it someone you say, I am gonna fulfill this promise and when I do, I earn this card back it belongs to me and I will earn it back. You go, you fulfill your promise, you earn your card back and you keep it as a reminder, that you are a person of your word, may be someone like a superhero or Doctor King, or my dad. They don't have to be big promises, they can be small a promise to care about others, a promise not to text or Facebook while driving little things, or maybe it's a teenage girl's promise to sit and make friends with the kids who sit alone at lunch because near her school two teens committed suicide, one of them known to be because of bullying. Her promise to just make friends to bring a smile to someone's face. Or maybe it's a promise, from a 44 year old man, diagnosed with cancer 3 times, afraid that if he dies, there will be no napkin note in his daughter's lunch, so he does a calculation the number of days a class his daughter, Emma has until she graduates from high school. A commitment to write eight hundred and twenty-six napkin notes, so that even if he goes, that napkin would still be there. My name is Alex Sheen and I am the founder of 'because I said I would.' I make promises, I distribute these cards I wanna live a life of commitment and so each year, I make a new year's promise I did this in 2013 I am doing it now in 2014, in 2013 I wrote 52 separate promise cards. And in each week I'll put it in a hat I randomly select a card out of the hat, I have one week, to fulfill that commitment they are not big things, they're little may be like donating blood, for the first time or something just to bring a smile to my grandma's face, to teach her how to Skype, cos, she has no clue don't show pictures please, I hate, I have to show the picture I am sorry. I never promised that I wouldn't show that video. or maybe it's a promise to just a learn a little something, how to say thank you, in 20 different languages. Grazie, Gracias, Dankon, Khob khun Arigato, Gomapseumnida, Salamat you get the idea, right. Little promises, things you say you gonna do. 'Because I said I would' is a social movement, a non profit organization, dedicated to the betterment of humanity, to the importance of a promise. I believe that this is how we change the world, our own commitments, what are we gonna do. But you see those promises were 2013 In 2014, I want to make commitments that are closer to the core of our mission to better humanity and so I made a commitment a commitment in 2014 that I would volunteer at different non-profit organization every week for 52 weeks. One card for each week and I am currently on that journey. You see, when you go and you help people you find new experiences in life, it's very rewarding. I had the opportunity 2 days ago, to deliver valentines day gifts to kids with cancer in a hospital cos they were alone in that room with just no families, no friends. They want their holiday just like you want it. And in that experience randomly finding base camp childhood cancer foundation I was co-incidentally invited to the opening of Talia's room The name Talia may sound familiar, this is a honorary cover girl, a girl with cancer who is on the DeGeneres show and they opened a room in her honor at base camp. I got to meet Talia's mother, Talia's sister, and express my condolences for their loss. Sometimes it's not so I don't know rewarding I don't know what the word is, sometimes you're just in a warehouse, packing up socks and boots for homeless cos it's gonna be negative 10 degrees outside in Cleveland where I live or may be its something you don't necessarily want to do the act but you want to make sure its done. Maybe it's going to your local animal shelter and cleaning up some cat poop, a couple hours getting attacked They're not very appreciative. Let's face it, I am never gonna be a super hero. I can never lift ten thousand pounds, I'm in my twenties, and I already have arthritis in my back, okay. I may never become someone like Doctor Martin Luther King Junior and the greatness that he achieved in battling the injustice, that played our country in the 60s. But you know what I can do I keep a promise. I can do that. And so can you. Thank you.

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Duration: 14 minutes and 27 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: schoogle on Dec 18, 2015

8_What all great superheroes have in common- Alex Sheen at [email protected] (1)

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