2. Trust yourself and those around you with the truth.
As the masked Bane explains in The Dark Knight Returns, “You have been supplied with a false idol to stop you from tearing down this corrupt city. Let me tell you the truth about Harvey Dent. The Batman didn’t murder Harvey Dent. He saved my boy, then took the blame for Harvey’s appalling crimes so I could, to my shame, build a lie around this fallen idol.”
When Batman’s request to take the fall for Harvey Dent’s murders as Two Face comes to light, it’s apparent that despite attempts to make sure the citizens of Gotham did not lose their belief in the law and in justice, crime was still a problem. It didn’t disappear, but was just pushed aside and eventually resurfaced to do even more damage to the city, says Singh.
Lesson learned — honesty is always the best policy. Bite the bullet and be brave enough to be truthful to those around you, even if it might be uncomfortable at first. Trust is everything.
3. Great organizations are built upon great ideas, not people.
“People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can’t do that as Bruce Wayne,” uttered Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins. “As a man, I’m flesh and blood, I can be ignored, I can be destroyed; but as a symbol . . . as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting.”
Bruce realized the importance of transcending his human ego and choosing not to be defined by his person, but by what the figure of Batman embodied as an idea. It’s a hugely important theme of the entire trilogy that’s applicable to the lives we live every single day. Think of the many organizations, institutions, conglomerates and communities formed purely on ego. And then think of how many of those have come to signal something transcendent and lasting for humanity. I mean, who can definitively say that the Kardashians will be lauded for their contributions to human progress centuries from now?
It’s the big picture and the drive towards the greater good for us Earth-dwellers now and into the future that really matters. This is why the Marin Luther King, Jr.s, Angela Davises, Mahatma Gandhis and Marie Curies have been so key to moving us forward — they had ideas, simple yet radical, that they chose to advance above all else, and that they chose to put before themselves.
From romantic heartbreak to money troubles to family issues, life on this imperfect planet is fraught with difficulties. It’s a given. There’s really no way around it. It’s like gravity — try as we may to build complex flying machines and climb trees, we still have to contend with a force that constantly pulls us downward. So why not use that struggle productively?In the ultra-wise words of Alfred Pennyworth to Bruce, “Endure, Mr. Wayne. Take it. They’ll hate you for it, but that’s the point of the Batman. He can be the outcast, he can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.”
It’s definitely much easier said than done, but choosing to fight for a good thing even if it’s hard will pay off in time. All pain is temporary. Which leads us to our fifth lesson . . .
“Then make the climb,” admonishes the blind prisoner. And when Batman asks how, the prisoner responds, “As the child did. Without the rope. Then fear will find you again.”What this means is that success will come with more than a few setbacks. But often our most obstructive inhibitors to success are inside us, taunting us like the open top on the prison Batman is trapped in. Seeing that light and not being able to grasp it right away had deterred many an otherwise hopeful escapee. It is only when Batman risks absolutely everything and climbs towards the top without anything to catch him should he fall that he is able to escape and finally free Gotham.
7. Anyone can be a hero.