I was chatting with the kids last night and posed the question to them: what if there is an ‘opposite you’ out there in the world — not so much someone who looks just like you, but a person who does the exact opposite of everything you do? Every decision you make, that person would do the opposite. What kind of person do you think that would be? Would he/she be a good person?
Of course, their answer was this person would be really bad. And I would expect no less! I want them to believe that their opposite would make bad decisions, because it means they are confident they are making the right calls in life. And don’t we all feel that way? That the decisions we make are right and good?
Superman had an ‘opposite’ doppelganger, known as ‘Bizarro Superman’. This character typically does (and says) the exact opposite of everything Superman does and stands for. He also (often) lives in a ‘bizarro’ world, where everything is different. This character mostly does the wrong things and serves as a foe to Superman. But sometimes he accidentally does the right thing, and finds himself a hero. Like most comic book characters, Bizarro lives and dies a few times. But in one of his last speeches before he dies, Bizarro (who also speaks strangely) tells Superman “It am part of genius Bizarro self-improvement plan! See, me suddenly realize that me am not perfect imperfect duplicate! Maybe me not trying hard enough.”
In our non-bizarro world, a self-improvement plan helps us realize that we are also not perfect, and that perhaps we need to “try harder”. Whether it be how we act, how we eat, or how we exercise, many of us strive to “do better”. But many of us also tend to believe we do not need improvement — that the decisions we make are strong and good, and that a Bizarro-version of our-self would be really bad. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Some of our decisions are right, some wrong. And in reality, a bizarro version of our-self would probably be like who we are now! Some decisions would be bad, some good, and as a result that person would likely ‘ride the line’ between right and wrong. Unlike Superman, we are not perfect beings who only fail when some outside force is applied. But our hope (and mine, for the kids) is that person would be more wrong than right. I certainly don’t expect my kids to be perfect people, but if d their decisions trend toward the good side, their bizarro selves would not be great people. Does that make sense?
So today, ask yourself — if you had a bizarro-self out there in the world, what would others think of that person? Is he/she good, or bad? Perhaps somewhere in-between? If this were a real thing, perhaps our decisions would be made a bit more carefully, and we would take softer tones toward others. Or perhaps we should just all consider and realize that — even without an opposite — the decisions we made DO affect others, whether we like it or not, and act accordingly.
Have a great day!