One of my girlfriends and I took in the evening show last night, looking forward to a night out. As a follower of the Marvel mythology, this installment did not disappoint.
As with the other movies, I left with more than just the continuation of a storyline.
In each of the Marvel movies, there’s a moment. A teachable moment that stands out among the impossible stunts, special effects, post credit scene (or two), and Stan Lee cameos.
The second Capt America was no exception, and I thought it was a particularly important teachable moment that is too often forgotten. When I look around our country and the world at large, I worry just how often.
I share my takeaway here, but have kept it spoiler-free for those who have not yet seen the movie.
Late in the movie, Capt America asks his fellow SHIELD brethren to stand up for what is right. To stand up against an evil that is present, but they may not be able to see.
For a few moments, there is a pregnant pause, while those who were not aware a battle was brewing have to decide which side to fall on.
Because once you know of a conflict, you’re in it.
Whether it was your intention to be involved or not, knowing of a conflict puts you in the middle of it. You can stand aside and let it happen – effectively condoning whatever bad may come. Or you can chose a side and defend it. Either way, you’re in the mix.
What stayed with me, after the movie was over, was the first person confronted with making an active choice. It would have been easy to cave. Many would have – telling themselves that the hard choice will put their life or career at risk.
As he tried to decide what to do, all the reasons why it would have been safer and easier to follow along – though he suspected it was wrong – flew across his face.
Instead of caving, he stood up. He stood for what was right, even though it wasn’t easy.
He wasn’t a hero. He didn’t wear a mask or a cape. He was every man. No special abilities – other than his ability to stand for what he thought was right.
And when he did, those around him – once immobile – stood with him.
Superhero mythology is just that….mythology. But all mythology has in it the potential to inspire us mere mortals to be something more. Last night, I was reminded of our ability to stand up, in the face of fear or negative repercussion.
Movies make the “bad” all too clear. In life, not all “bad” is that easy to see.
It could be waste – processes that could be more efficient and effective, that we watch day in and day out so we are not perceived as negative or critical. It could be watching a peer, neighbor, friend or country struggle because we have our own deadline to hit or issues to resolve.
No matter the “bad,” we can either keep our seat and condone it, or stand up. By standing up, we stand out as someone committed to doing the right thing. And we don’t have to be Captain America to try.