If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Of course, I’d want to fly. Duh! But then I think about having my wish granted only to learn that it comes with strings attached, unforeseen consequences that make the super power less appealing. Like, it’s probably cold up there, and it would mess up my hair. There are wires, and flag poles, planes, and birds. Powerful updrafts to slam me into the nearest building. OK, no flying.
How about super strength? Yeah, it would be fun to load up the barbell with the biggest weights, and do 100 reps while the gym regulars gawked. And to stop cars that are running red lights. But maybe I’d break things accidentally, grip fresh fruit too tightly, or hurt people by mistake.
X-ray vision? Ew. No. I don’t want to know what’s under your skin.
Invisibility? Sounds cool. Could be nice to slip past the guy on the corner who wants me to take a survey, or the salesperson who doesn’t understand I’m just looking. But, no. There are plenty of times when I have to go out of my way to be seriously considered, so literally being invisible can’t be good.
Super speed? What if typing took half the time, or grocery shopping, or cooking, or cleaning? Appealing, but I think I enjoy those things. If I started speeding up anything that seemed tedious, maybe I’d fast forward through things that would have been interesting, or given me a chance to think. Tempting, but no.
Super hearing? No. I do not want to know what you’re saying behind closed doors, or on the other side of the street. I include mind reading in this category. No.
What I really want is the power to resist dessert. The power to get up early enough to go to the gym, the power to approach each work day with energy and excitement. The power to sit down and enjoy a TV show without the niggling thought that there’s surely a chore I could be doing instead.
Hidden under our everyday clothes are the real super powers of persistence, restraint, and self-worth. Innate powers waiting to be tapped. And they don’t come with a cape.