When you live in a geeky house and geeky people often come to visit, you spend a disproportionate amount of time discussing superpowers and which ones you would choose.* My usual selection is to have the power to calm people – individuals who are anxious, crowds who are dangerous** – I’d like to be able to help. However, soon after I mention the power I would like to have, we tend to veer off into the powers I would definitely NOT choose. Here they are in no particular order:
1) Invisibility – I don’t think it would be fun to be invisible. For starters, it would be kind of creepy since you could sneak into places where you weren’t wanted (I don’t want to be anywhere that doesn’t want me). Also, you would end up hearing people talking about you – I don’t want to know what anyone has to say about me when I’m not there.
2) Flying – I would love to be able to just kind of flash from one place to another but I have no interest in flying to get from here to there. I don’t like wind in my face, I’m a bit wigged out by heights, and I am always chilly – personal flight just wouldn’t be my choice.
3) Silver-Tongue – I don’t know what you’d actually call this power but I don’t want to be able to persuade anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. I get that this *seems* similar to being able to calm them down, but I don’t want to change anyone’s minds with calming – I just want to change their methods or to help them out. The idea of making someone go against their own will is just icky beyond. This is an imaginary list and I am still getting a pain in my stomach.
4) X-ray vision – Sure, it would be cool to be able to look through walls and the like but I come right back to the fact that I would be invading people’s privacy left, right and centre. That’s just not okay by me.
Can you tell that I place a lot of importance on people having control of their own lives and people able to decide how they move through the world? And that I have a really strong personal sense of what is public and what is private?
Imagination is one of my real-life superpowers and I still can’t imagine away those basics of my perspective on the world. And, of course, I can’t imagine not being chilly – that’s just too big a task to ask my brain to undertake. 🙂
For the record – in addition to my calming power, I would totally take being super-strong or having super-fighting power. Those powers would rock.
*This is, of course, despite the fact that most people in comics and movies seem to just end up with superpowers instead of actually getting to make a choice, but just run with me here.
**Yeah, I know danger is in the eye of the beholder, there would be a lot of things to consider before I could use this power.