December 18th, 2021
Don’t worry: there is not a single spoiler for the new Spider-Man movie here, besides that it’s one of my favorite films of all time and you should bring everyone you know.
I just want to talk about one of the inherent qualities of Peter Parker — Spider-Man himself — that bears repeating, time after time after time, which is why we have so many issues and episodes and movies about him. It’s a theme that never gets old.
It’s not the great power, great responsibility thing, which is an enormous lesson in itself.
No, Peter’s nature can be defined by one code:
You don’t do good things because they are easy or because you expect good things back. You do good things even if they make your life harder because that is the right thing to do.
It is possibly the most relevant lesson we can learn.
I look around at this place we live and I see so many people finding every excuse they can to not do good things, or even the right one. They find exceptions in what they claim to believe and live by because — guess what? — doing the right thing sometimes makes life harder, and people who have distorted views of what freedom is and means don’t understand that for some people’s lives to get significantly better, theirs will have to get slightly more inconvenient.
We praise those who sacrifice but how much do we give?
Peter’s strength and flaw is the same, depending on who you ask — he always does what’s best for others, and it’s often to his detriment. We’ve seen him be selfish, and it’s his downfall every time.
I have always, always said that everyone should read comics, and this is the reason why: you learn how to be a better human with each page. (I stand by the belief that we would have never elected any Lex Luthors if the rest of the world could have identified the clear signs of a supervillain.)
So next time you’re caught between the choice of “easy” and “right,” I hope you weigh the consequences and think of Peter. I don’t always get it right (and have been as selfish as him at his worst), but nowadays I try to give it a shot every single time.