I have been re-watching Daredevil, mostly to enjoy the brilliant performance of Vincent D’Onofrio, and I am enjoying it just as much the second time around. But as I get caught up in the suspense and drama and absolutely terrible things that keep happening, I get a bit stressed, a bit wound up, like a spring or something that just gets tighter and tighter… and then I sit back, sigh, and remind myself that my life looks nothing like the life of Matthew Murdock.
This cathartic schadenfreude strikes me as selfish, but I appreciate it nonetheless. One of the things I appreciate about Daredevil is that, while he does have powers, he’s not that super. He gets beat up and left unconscious and bleeding a lot, a state I can sympathize with from my youth. Perhaps the most accurate thing you can say about many of the fights that he gets into is that he survives. So I can identify with him in some ways because he seems more “normal” than the big movie super heroes, but I’m glad I’m not him. That’s the selfish part: I’m not fighting any sort of battle against injustice, or going out of my way to protect people, or sacrificing everything I have–money, career, relationships–for the sake of saving the oppressed.
But even though I feel that pang of selfishness, I’m still glad. I’m glad I have my job where I’m valued for what I know and contribute, and that I work from the comfort of my home, and that I have a beautiful wife who supports me and who I can support. I mean, that alone is a distinguishing characteristic between my life and all the super hero shows: I have no conflict in supporting the people around me. Everyone is conflicted about supporting Daredevil, the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, because he does both good and bad things. April pretty much just does good things. There’s no moral struggle about supporting her as she works with young children to help them be healthy. I don’t need to go to a priest and wrestle with whether or not it’s OK to help people use Atlassian tools. And no one is trying to ruin my life, or hunt down my loved ones, or destroy everything I stand for.
Speaking of work, I should get ready. Today I’ll be doing a lot of reading and writing while drinking coffee. I can think of worse jobs to have, and I am thankful this one is mine.