Saturday, June 03, 2006

X-MEN & standing out in the crowd

We watched X-MEN III today. Cool special effects, but no happy end after all :-)

There was one thing that resonated with me though in this movie. It might sound slightly funny but I found a lot in common between why folks enjoy movies like X-MEN, and why folks run marathons.

All movies about people’s super-natural powers like X-MEN or Batman or Spiderman or Superman are based on the same human weakness. Most of us want deep inside to be special, to stand out in the crowd, which is totally natural taking into consideration today’s highly-competitive environment.
There are a lot of different ways to stand out in the crowd. It might be by means of being the first and the best in something. It might be through being different from others. Or striving to be different not being able to be the first.
Here what folks buy in the movies about people with super-natural powers:
There is an ordinary guy – a student or a clerk – usually shy and in ugly glasses to emphasize his mediocrity. Just like one of us.
And all of a sudden – even for himself – he starts to speak foreign languages or show miracles of martial arts or telekinesis. He becomes mysterious and unique. And preferably – just like in X-MEN or Spiderman movies – it happens without years of every-day heavy trainings and asperity. Not the rocky road of Cinderella-man or Rocky Balboa – this is far less exciting and alluring – too much sweat.
For us – for grownup’s – such dreams might be hidden and less evident. But who did not have them when a teenager?

When it comes to martial arts, or a marathon running, or mountain biking, or … (the list might be quite long), the roots are often the same: to be unique, to stand out in the crowd, to be different and better than people around.
It is like, although I will never be able to compete with professional athletes capable to run all 26 miles at around 5:30 pace, I will be one of few people around capable to do it, or at least will be capable to do it better than many of them.
That is our motivation is more than just a sense of achievement, but rather standing out in the crowd – sometimes even more inwardly (in my mind) than in front of other people…

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