By Aaron Welty, my Professor Xavier and the catalyst of my legal career Aaron is truly a real-life superhero. Born with Cerebral Palsy, he is the epitome of a survivor and overcomer. Having worked on Capitol Hill and now for the Federal Aviation Administration, Aaron’s story is truly inspiring.
We co-paneled a discussion at AwesomeCon about the Heroics of Weakness and how even superheroes have weaknesses and struggles that essentially make them the heroes they become.
“In the midst of a culture that prizes and praises strength as a portent of success, could weakness actually be heroic? If I told you that weakness is worthwhile, would you believe it? These are questions to wrestle with, and this Saturday a panel discussion on “The Heroics of Weakness” will do just that at AwesomeCon coming to Washington, DC. With popular superheroes — think Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain America and Iron Man — we often focus on their powers and abilities as what makes them heroic. We do this because we desperately want to see even a small part of ourselves in these characters.
Culture has conditioned us to desire strength and success by parading before us film, television, sports, music, and other celebrities who seem to have what most of us can only dream of. We don’t focus on the weaknesses present in some of these role models and superheroes, things that might make them seem “less.” Anyone who has spent much time on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter has, at times, played this same game: doing what we can to present our best self. To inject an alternative to this narrative at AwesomeCon, my co-panelist Jennifer Breedon and I will be looking at weakness through the lens of some of the on-screen Marvel characters — notably Iron Man and Black Widow…”