– Steve Trevor
I stepped out of the movie theaters the other night after my second viewing of Wonder Woman, and that line continued playing on in my head. A post such as this is late to the game. The movie has already been out for months, so you have all already likely digested the film, savored the flavor, and moved on.
But I’d like to take a moment to relive the feast. Wonder Woman may well be my favorite movie of 2017. That may not be saying much—2017 is still far from done, and since hectic is really the best word to describe my schedule, the movie theater and I have been more unfamiliar acquaintances than fast friends. Put those things aside though, and I still think it is a fair statement.
Visually, the film is incredibly striking and beautiful. Personally, I’d love to take a one way ticket to the Island of Themyscira to train among the Amazons. (Seriously … who wouldn’t like to train like them?) Gal Gadot’s Diana is at once formidable and eye-openingly innocent. I envy the strength of her conviction and courage. It is so inspiring, so refreshing, because no matter how many times she is told that she cannot help, that she cannot make a difference, she is determined to do what she can. (Which, admittedly, is quite a lot. It helps to have superpowers.)
Critics can quibble over plot and storyline all they will, but when she scales that ladder, rises above the trenches, and charges across No Man’s land, I don’t know about you, but I wanted to jump out of my seat and charge after her. Because I am weary of being jaded and matter-of-fact when it comes to those who are hurting and suffering around me.
And the best heroes are those who inspire us to do the same.
But instead of focusing on Diana, I want to focus on the other hero of the film: Steve.
Steve is the everyman hero. He is a normal guy, like you and me—at least when it comes to superpowers, (although admittedly as a soldier and spy, he’s probably got a little more training than the average everyman)—who steps up and gives above and beyond the call of duty.
Unlike Diana, he has already come face to face with evil and suffering from both sides of the war. He may not have Diana’s abilities, but he willingly charges into the fray, putting his life on the line time and again. Where Diana is convinced that she can stop the war if she can just defeat Ares, Steve has had to face the realization that he cannot save everyone, cannot win the war on his own, and that each battle may be his last, but that doesn’t stop him from giving his all to do all the good that he can.
There is much that is wrong with the world. Much suffering. Much anger. Much hate. And we cannot stop it. Not on a global scale. It can be discouraging. And while we know that the power of Christ’s love is ultimately the only thing that can truly change the world, when we are faced with the overwhelming depth of the problems around us, we can be tempted to deny any part in the battle. To sit on the sidelines and leave it to others to fight.
Or we can make the choice to act.
To wade into the fray. To enter the grime and grit of the battle. To draw the fire. To affect change around us, in our sphere of influence, in every interaction that we have with others.
We can choose how we will respond. Whether we will ignore suffering. Whether we will feed anger and hatred. Whether we will accept the world the way that it is.
Or whether we will love—as Christ has called us to—and act, in each moment of the day, out of love toward others.
I see that as being the true power of the everyman hero. As much as I can watch a movie like Wonder Woman and dream about training as an Amazon warrior or leading that charge across No Man’s land, I know my limitations. Unfortunately, those limitations don’t allow for leaping buildings in a bound, single-handedly defeating a squad of enemy combatants, or blocking machine gun fire with magic gauntlets.
But Steve’s heroism—the choice to rise and fight and do whatever good you can do, regardless of the odds—that I can put into practice, and so you can you.
It begins with the simplest of choices: the choice to do something instead of nothing.
Are there any fights or causes near and dear to your heart?
Have you found a way to do whatever good that you can do today?
Do you have a favorite “everyman” hero in movies or books?