… Iron Man II: the little kid who faces the giant robot.
Everyone’s gathered to see Iron Man, but the bad guy has dispensed a horde of giant killer robots to attack the crowd, and Iron Man is stuck far away. A little boy, perhaps five years old, dressed in a little Iron Man costume, stands as still as a statue while the robot comes toward him. If the robot lifts a foot, the little guy will be nothing but a smear, but he stands there anyway, lifting his little hand toward the robot the way Iron Man would do.
He doesn’t have weapons or death rays; he probably doesn’t even realize there’s a science behind Tony Stark’s special suit. All he knows is that when his hero lifts his hand against evil, a magic beam blows the evil up. All he knows is that when evil threatens, heroes like Iron Man stand still as statues and face the evil. All he knows is that he’s dressed like Iron Man, so he must therefore be like Iron Man.
In that moment, he is braver than any superhero there ever was.
We owe it to these little guys who emulate all the things we tell them are important; we owe it to them to be as brave as they are, to believe the stuff we tell them about faith, belief, courage, right and wrong. We owe it to them to stand still as statues and face the evil, with or without magic weapons.
Say what you like about the amazingly egocentric Tony Stark, but he’s the only one who comes to save the little boy, while all the other grown-ups run away screaming. Tony Stark believes in himself, and the little boy in the Iron Man costume believes in himself, and that’s how the evil robots are defeated.
Let’s try to be as brave and confident as a five-year-old … when you say it that way, it doesn’t sound so hard, right?
Because that’s how evil is defeated.