What with scandal and alleged wrongdoing by public officials, including a former superintendent of the Voorheesville school district and the re-elected state comptroller, it gets easier and easier to understand the reason for superheroes.
Ordinary heroes seem few and far between of late, even in our own Capital District, and truth, justice and the American way seem remote, forgotten concepts from a time of long ago.
At this time of year, many of us take stock of where we are and where we're going or would like to go, and the sorry state of things so close to home makes it difficult to envision a world without glaring headlines and sound bites touting the latest scandal or crime.
Police in Rotterdam and Albany are having difficulties, while at the same time a criminal flaunts his ego in the courts, even after admitting to murder one state policeman and seriously wounding another. Ralph Phillips allegedly entered the guilty pleas to spare his daughter and ex-girlfriend from doing jail time.
What we have apparently lost is the integrity needed to always try to do the right thing. What we need to do now is try to restore integrity to its rightful place in our society.
Easier said than done.
Integrity is most often instilled in children by role models who live their lives trying to do the right thing, despite temptation to do otherwise. Nowadays, our kids often have to turn to fantasy to find suitable role models. Who would have ever thought that comic book characters could have risen to this level?
Perhaps kids are smarter than we give them credit for. At least they know to look up to the good guys and gals. Kids tend to emulate their heroes, and that's one good sign for the future.
Even children themselves have become super heroes. Think of the millions worldwide who idolize Harry Potter, a whiz of a wizard if ever there was.