“I’ve been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
Achilles and his gold
Hercules and his gifts
And Batman with his fists
And clearly I don’t see myself upon that list
But she said where’d you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I’m not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can kiss”
–from “Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay
When I first heard this song, I was instantly tantalized. The message of acceptance, of “come as you are” was instantly attractive and oh-so tempting. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized I couldn’t agree with the basic message.
I agree with the initial lines: I can’t match the achievement of those heroes. And yet, I have always believed that there is something gained in the striving toward those ideals. I may never the powers of the Jedi, or the courage of a Starfleet officer, or the magic of a wizard, or the nobility of a dragonrider–but I can still strive towards justice, love, peace, honor, courage in my own way.
Striving towards superhuman levels of honor, love, courage, etc., is a difficult path. It is very tempting to abandon it for simple pleasures, to let the knowledge that I can never be perfect as a reason for not trying at all. And yet I can not abandon the pursuit of such a path. It is simply not in my nature.
Extending it to romance, while there is a temptation to the “come as you are” nature, for finding someone who is happy with just a simple embrace, I don’t think I could ultimately be happy in such a relationship. I need someone who IS looking for a person with superhuman levels of honor, love, courage, etc.; who is striving for such levels themselves, and who is willing to pursue such levels together. THAT is a truer love to me–yes, we would acknowledge that we would never be perfect–but we’d push each other forward and journey together towards that goal.
So I encourage you all: don’t settle–keep pushing, keep striving, keep aiming for the superhero levels. The path is difficult–but it is worthwhile.