Self-reflection is a critical part of ending racism
In 1997, Marvel released a new superhero team known as The Thunderbolts.
Unless you’re a comic book aficionado, I doubt you know of these society-saving superhumans. I didn’t. Not just because there aren’t any blockbuster movies bearing their name (they’re finally creating one in 2023), but also because these superheroes were of a different ilk.
They weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouths. They didn’t live in a wealthy Bruce Wayne mansion with an unlimited trust fund for their high-tech, criminal-fighting powers. They weren’t dropped from the sky into the fields of a loving home and raised on a farm with two kind parents. They weren’t the love childs of other superheroes.
Quite the opposite. They grew up in difficulty, like so many of us. Life challenges that then led to bad decision-making. They took many wrong turns, as most of us with trauma have. God knows I’ve taken too many. For a time, these men and women couldn’t even see their potential.
The Thunderbolts originated as a team of super criminals, wreaking havoc on society, all while masquerading as heroes. They were up to no good but had to sometimes pretend they were superheroes to carry out their sinister acts.
But something profound happened when they pretended to be kind, justice-oriented heroes. They started believing in themselves. They started thinking that they were superheroes. They even recruited other villains and turned them into real superheroes along the way.
As the Thunderbolts grew and learned about themselves and their potential, they slowly but surely turned to a life of fighting for peace and justice. Oftentimes stopping the world from its own self-destruction.
They adopted the tagline, Justice Like Lightning.
Several years ago, my daughter gave a speech at her bat mitzvah. That’s when a young Jewish girl, usually 12 or 13, takes on new responsibilities and learns to grow into an adult. Jews celebrate with a big party and typically the child gives a speech about something spiritual.
My daughter decided to speak on the topic of self-reflection, good decision-making and self-improvement as tools toward making society a…