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Aliens Visiting Earth

2007 Whitty Movie Awards

This isn’t the first attempt to try and place some psychoanalysis around why a person would choose a particular super power and it certainly won’t be the last.  This is just my non-professional look at it.  I am not, in any way, suggesting this is a new or original idea.  My guess is every college in America has had a student address this topic.

Most people have, at least, thought about the question.  If I could choose a super power for myself, what would it be?  Would I fly like Superman, or talk to the animals like Dr. Doolittle, or maybe read minds like Matt Parkman from the TV show “Heroes”.  I believe that whatever you choose says something about you.

Some people may choose a power based on something they feel that they lack, e.g. super strength or brain power.  Others may choose a power that would help alleviate an issue currently existing in their life, e.g. super speed would help them with not being able to do everything they need to do in a day.  Whatever the reason, your chosen power helps define you.  Let's look at a few examples.

Flying – this can come in many varieties (e.g. flying fast would incorporate the “super speed” angle as well).  People who choose flying could have a feeling of being tied down or locked into a situation they find less than pleasant.  The idea of flying gives the person a sense of freedom (nothing can hold you down, so to speak).  Flying could also be for a needed change of perspective (i.e. the common saying of “viewing things from 10,000 feet”).  The person has a mentality that they cannot change until they fully realize everything that is going on.  This is sometimes clichéd as “can’t see the forest for the trees”.

Invisibility – assuming one can become invisible and then visible again at will.  People who choose invisibility often see the need to get away and yet stay connected to their life.  How often does someone on vacation feel the need to return home before the vacation is over (not that they do, but the feeling is there)?  There can also be a sense that this reflects their life.  The majority of people in the world have no idea how you think or act and they don’t want to.  Invisibility is a metaphor for the fact that only friends and/or family truly see you.  You allow them that window into who you are.

Telekinesis – the ability to move objects with your mind.  People who choose telekinesis seek a sense of control of the world around them.  They often feel as if their entire life is dictated for them and they are sick of it.  They also feel that their mastery over these objects makes them noticed.  The feeling of being underappreciated is prevalent in many of these powers but none more than telekinesis.  Some may even feel that their new power would allow them to become more useful.

Obviously, there are many more super powers than these three, but I felt these were some of the more juicy, and obvious, ones.  I have heard some people say that they would choose the power to grant themselves more powers.  The greedier people get, the more they feel they are lacking and in need of assistance.  This isn’t always the case but the “mind wants what the mind wants”.

The dangers of the acquisition of super powers are many.  The first is the intoxication of being able to do something others cannot do.  Superman, and others, are regarded as having something of a God-complex.  Being able to save a life could be seen as going against God’s will.  Super powers can also make you very lonely.  A secret identity conceals you from everyone and doesn’t allow anyone to get to know the real you.  It takes a big leap to trust anyone with that kind of information.  They may not wish to have such a burden.  Any plans you have will always have the possibility of interruption unless you learn to ignore the calls of those you could use your help.  That scenario brings a whole host of other problems like guilt and remorse. 

Just like dreams, the person best equipped to analyze the psychology behind your desired super power is you.  Take an honest look at yourself and you may be surprised by what you find out.  By the way, my choice was invisibility.