Captain America – Craving Significance
Photo by Corey Porter
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The Cap is back on the ‘big screen.’ To get myself ‘prepared,’ I revisited Captain America-The First Avenger. In this movie, there is little doubt that Steve Rogers craves to make a difference in the war, but he lacks the required physical attributes. Although frustrated at times, his craving for significance keeps him ever determined to enlist.

Isn’t this the dichotomy in which we live in? We want our life to count for something but feel so limited or handicapped to make real change. We feel our lack of power, money or social status. And yet we press on fearful and unwilling to settle for a mundane existence. We crave significance.


Like Rogers, most of us dream of achieving something significant. But our dreams meet their match when they are forced to face our handicaps. Our weaknesses threaten to annihilate our dream for significance. Just as painful as it was to see the scrawny Rogers fumble through the grueling paces of boot camp, we too suffer pain and humiliation as we stumble towards our dreams. Through the emotional and physical hardship, we hold onto our dream and are driven to overcome any obstacle that stands in our way. We will not accept our own defeat.


As if Rogers’ limitations weren’t enough to deflate his dreams, bullies added injury and insult to his plight. We too have bullies that seem to get pleasure out of seeing us fail and take any opportunity to make fun of us. They berate us and sometimes physically intimidate us. In their attempts to demean us further, we often experience an inner resolve rising to prove them wrong. Although the jealousy and envy of others would try to bring us down we rise from the crucible with greater zeal for our dream. We won’t let others defeat us.


Colonel Philips was the highest ranking officer that Rogers had to prove himself to. Philips thought it was a waste of his time when he saw Rogers’ pathetic physique. When even our superiors reject us and defeat seems assured, we again feel our determination rise to prove them wrong. Even rejection from those we try to please can stoke the fires of our determination to succeed.

Like Rogers, we too have had our dreams frustrated by our handicap, bullying and rejection. In these dark nights of the soul we may be tempted to give up on our dreams.

If there was a serum that could offer you power to overcome these foes would you take the risk?

For Rogers, everything changed after the serum was in his veins. He now had physical power, social status and even money. This is where our ability to relate to Rogers diverges. As far as I am aware, there is no such serum that will transform us into a hero. So how do we overcome our handicaps, bullies and rejection to become a person of significance? I know we can tap into something far greater than any such serum. An agent that can give us strength to overcome handicaps, bullies and rejection. It too has an element of risk, discomfort and controversy. It will also require that we lay our life on the line for others. The life of significance is not for the faint of heart.

In my next post, I want to further explore why we crave significance and how we can overcome opposition to it. In the meantime, I want to know what you think on why do we crave significance so much? How do you find strength to overcome handicaps, bullies and rejection to become a person of significance?

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