Yesterday my husband and I went to see “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” We like a good action movie now and then, and both of us are fond of the Sci-fi/Fantasy genre. It is, of course, part of the current run of Marvel comic book character adaptations.
We really enjoyed it. I was wondering why I enjoyed it so much today, and came up with a few thoughts.
Captain America is forthright character. In a world of millions of shades of grey, the character cuts through to right and wrong in a way that could possibly be popularly regarded as “old fashioned.” It doesn’t hurt that the actor playing him manages to look squeaky clean as well. You can easily imagine him helping elderly ladies across the street, or picking up teddy bears dropped by kids in prams.
Our world is a really complex place. We struggle with political correctness while never knowing whether we’re offending someone just by smiling at them. Truth is often portrayed as ‘relative.’ I found it refreshing to view a character who not only made hard choices, but was convinced that another character could be redeemed, despite all evidence to the contrary, and inadvertently encouraged another character to examine her own motives. I enjoyed watching “The Black Widow” choose to allow her murky past to be revealed simply because she’d been swept up by Steve Rogers’ unswerving ability to see to the heart of the matter.
In many ways, Captain America is an anachronism. As an Australian, I find the patriotism slightly embarrassing, to tell the truth. What I don’t find embarrassing is the inherent nobility in the character. Nobility is a very unused word today. It insinuates self sacrifice, upholding what is right and following that up with doing what is right. This isn’t something that we talk about very often. The conversation is often hijacked with “doing what is right for me,” or “upholding what is right for me.”
Notice the “for me.” It’s something that prefaces many comments and statements. “For me.” When I was thinking about this, I wondered about it. So much of what we do and think today is “about me.” There’s an inherent selfishness in that. What if I were to think differently? What if I were to put others first, at a cost? What if I were to actually DO something that wasn’t “for me?”
Maybe we should all think about that. There’s several verses in the Bible that I was thinking about as I wrote this. They come from Phillipians.
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”