*Possible spoilers for Hulk, The Avengers, Iron Man, and Captain America below*

Sometimes the things which hurt us the most are also potentially our greatest sources of strength. Take the Hulk. He has an anger/pulse management problem. Unfortunately, for most of his namesake movie, he doesn't actually deal with it. He gets a wrist pulse meter and spends the rest of the movie trying to avoid fighting anyone. In the Avengers, he doesn't do much better. However, toward the end of the movie reveals that in order to control his powers he is always angry. Yes, yes, he is. But, as witness the scene where he loses control and attempts to kill everyone, this is not the ideal solution. Did he never consider learning how not to get angry, or even how to control himself when he *is* a hulking green rage monster? (This also leads me to question whether becoming a green giant actually makes him angry if what triggered it was an elevated pulse due to physical activity and what the ramifications of that are–but that is neither here nor there)

In almost every superhero movie, the protagonist faces a villain which he can only defeat by subjugating a part of himself. (Or, perhaps, in the "course* of defeating the villain, he subjugates a part of himself.) For example, after his abduction, Tony Stark loses some of his narcissistic flair (huge guns, girls, etc.) that made him such a huge society figure, but it is only because he has such tremendous self confidence (and pride) that he *can* play the role of Iron Man. Captain America, on the other hand, loses some of his willingness to be a perfect artificial representation of truth, justice, and the American Way in an acting troupe in order to be an imperfect real representation of these things.

Weakness is just unrefined strength. For example, I am rather insecure about my skills as an organic chemist. But the fact that I care speaks volumes. It would be a true weakness if I was neither aware nor cared. But, because effort is the first step toward greatness, it is not true weakness. Since the end of the school year, I went through a brief period of mild depression. It was terrifying to watch myself, not because I was sad, but because I did not actually care. A year ago, I would probably have said that my greatest weakness was emotion. Indeed, emotional outbursts are not mature and they have delayed some of my important homework, but how beautiful it is to actually care! I have missed being able to sympathize and to write, and missed the natural instinct to treat people with respect. So no, emotion is not a true weakness; it is simply another unrefined strength which may, like the Hulk sometimes destroy things.

'But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.'–II Corinthians 12:9

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