Your Superhuman Heritage
movnat potential superheroes
Better Tech, Weaker Folks
Humans weren't always so frail. Much of what we consider exceptional used to be taken for granted.
- The Roman legions could routinely march a marathon while carrying half their bodyweight.
- Greek Olympians walked 36 miles just to get to the games.
- Anyone who's ever tried to pick up a sword should respect the strength and power of the warriors who carried them through hour-long battles.
- Himalayas-dwellers are known to be able to navigate steep, treacherous passes while carrying loads that would make us Westerners crumble after a few steps.
As we industrialized and became more sedentary, our capabilities slowly declined. We won other things -- healthcare, assured safety, freedom from famine -- but sometimes I think we swallowed the pill whole without stopping to think about the side effects.
Nevertheless, despite our few centuries of industrialized living, we are still human, and that kind of ability is part of our heritage. It didn't take long to lose those standards, so perhaps it won't take long to regain them either.
An Impressive Pedigree
One thing that drew me to MovNat was that it asserts all humans should be strong, powerful, agile, and useful. In fact, MovNat's slogan is, "Explore Your True Nature" (emphasis added). You are already graceful, powerful, agile, and useful. Maybe you don't know how to express it yet, but as a human being, your very nature makes you those things.
Just as tigers have claws for a reason, humans have certain traits and abilities, certain muscle-joint configurations and movement patterns, for a reason. We have complex brains for a reason (so we can muse on why we have complex brains...?). In the same way we feel the need to take full advantage of all the features of any new gadgets, we should also be able to take full advantage of all our own capabilities.
Of course, human achievement is not limited to physical feats. Brilliant intelligence, magnetic charisma, nigh-omniscient awareness, and staggering creativity are just as ubiquitous in our genetic history.
The Heritage of Humanity
What is the full measure of a human being? What is the full potential of any one individual?
I can't answer these questions, except to say that we'll know it when we see it, and it is usually far grander than we predict. Imagine a world in which there was no such thing as a superhero, because we were all heroes, not just in our physical abilities, but in the strength of character that necessarily accompanies excellence in any endeavor.
Perhaps we'll never reclaim those feats, and I don't think we really need to. Their value lies in the fact that they offer the promise of something greater, something superhuman. Or rather, they suggest that 'merely' human is in fact 'super' human.
With this in mind, we can hold the honest, sincere belief that we are individually capable of great things. The effort required may be immense, but it's possible, and knowing that, we can always set our sights higher, aspire to greater, and take on bigger challenges.
Photo credit: hkuchera on Flickr