The CW is the joy of my life. Every Friday, I look forward to coming home and watching The Flash, SuperGirl and, as of recently, Black Lightning. I am in love.
Black Lightning follows the life and family of Jefferson Pierce, a hero who can channel lightning through his body. By day, Jefferson is a school principal in the city he grew up in, Freeland; by night he fights for the citizens of his city to have the privileges of its name. But this isn’t about Jefferson.
Anissa and Jennifer are Jefferson’s daughters. Anissa, a badass schoolteacher, learned she also is a metahuman (hero) and saw it as a way to make change in her community, much like her father. Yet Jennifer, a high school student, rejects her powers because, unsurprisingly, Jennifer has plans: she oneday wants a house, a family, children. Saving people and throwing flames aren’t in her plans.
“I don’t want to save the world. I want to go to prom, and college, and get married, and have babies. Can I even have kids?” cried Jennifer.
If you’re like me, your first reaction is to wonder why on this (semi-)green Earth a sixteen-year-old girl is worried about having children after learning that she can channel electricity through her body. That’s ridiculous, if you ask me. I’d be over the moon. But next, I noticed how Jennifer’s perspective completely altered what could have been an incredibly powerful and empowering moment.
I asked myself, what’s my superpower? What’s that one thing I dislike, even sometimes hate, about who I am? The thing I’ve tried to change, but can’t; something I’ve deemed to be the worst part about myself, but that just won’t go away. I realized it’s how much I care about people. No matter how badly someone’s hurt me, it’s incredibly difficult for me to reciprocate bad treatment. I make thousands of excuses for everyday aggressors and take on other people’s bad energy when certain interactions are simply a reaction from something, or someone, else.
But what if I found a medium? What if, unlike Jennifer, I recognized the beauties in my caring too much: that people typically feel at ease to talk to me when they’re down, that I’m empathic, and that I value authentic human connection, which is something many people can’t say.
Now I ask you, what’s your superpower? What’s that one thing about yourself that doesn’t necessarily hurt anyone, but annoys the hell out of you? How can you reexamine your perspective on this trait? How can you channel that superpower for the betterment of yourself, and your peers?
It’s just a thought.