To say I am excited about the new Netflix Series Daredevil would be a massive understatement. Daredevil is easily my favorite Marvel comic book series (Thor is a close second). I love the concept of “the man without fear.” Over the long haul the comic goes into some dark places and that may have been what spoke to me as a teenager and young adult, but at the center of it is a man who would have been justified in giving the world the middle finger and just giving up. Instead, however we get a character that refuses to give in and trains himself to conquer fears and doubts to become his city’s protector. That is what sticks with me after years of following the hero of Hell’s Kitchen.
I think Daredevil highlights an important lesson that we as parents can offer our kids, which is how to not let fear and doubt control us. Fear exists, doubt exists, and we can’t change that. Truth be told we probably wouldn’t want to, there is something empowering in conquering them. We never look at an elite athlete or award-winning performer and think, that person should be giving into their fear or self-doubt a little more. We celebrate the fact that they are bravely doing something that others do not have the courage or drive to do. I think what makes them great in part is their ability to set aside fear and doubt in pursuit of their dreams.
You think you can…turn me into a blubbering wreck…by preying on my fears…But I’ve already faced them–and come out the other side …I know what I am…Who I am…And I am not afraid! – Matt Murdock Daredevil: Reborn Vol 1 #4
I am reminded of watching the Olympics last year and in specific, the snowboarding events. I planned the viewing into my kids’ schedules. I wanted them to see these athletes compete and to see what is possible when you practice and you push yourself to do your best. We never talked about how scary it must be to go that fast or jump that high we just watched in amazement as the athletes performed their acrobatic feats. This year we introduced them to snowboarding and they took to it with gusto. Even at the scariest moments (like the first time to the top of the hill) there wasn’t a moment when giving up was an option that entered into their heads. They just kept trying…
Which makes you wonder when is it that the fear of failure really sets in, when does doubt become a crippling agent for our dreams. As kids we seem to have that little Daredevil inside us… when do we let go of that, and what can we do to hold onto it. I have a feeling it is that ability to set aside fear of failure that can make us great… I don’t think to be without fear means not to be afraid or have doubts, I think it means to set them aside, to conquer them and come out stronger for it. As I approach 40 I am really interested in finding and holding onto my inner Daredevil… I’d like to be known as a man without fear… Who knows maybe I can make year 40 my year… without fear.