Seth Godin dips his toe in the comic book waters by mentioning one of the most iconic bits of writing ever in the medium, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Those words written by the late, great Stan Lee are the essence of Spider-Man. It’s a powerful lesson that millions of readers (and movie watchers) have heard. It’s a clear message.
Godin then goes on to say the lesson doesn’t hold. He believes it’s backfiring because so many don’t want the responsibility that comes with power.
He’s right in a sense that it’s far easier to follow than lead. Not everyone is a leader. He would probably argue that everyone is a leader. I disagree. However, everyone should be in charge of their own lives and make their own personal choices on leading, creating, innovating, and helping.
Many people are given great power, but they don’t know it or believe it.
In a democracy, we each have more power to speak up and to connect than we imagine. But most people don’t publish their best work or seek to organize people who care. Most of the time, it’s far easier to avert our eyes or blame the system or the tech or the dominant power structure.
He calls this a paradox. It isn’t. It’s freewill.