May 1 is Batman Day. I was a fan of Batman comics as a child. I wasn’t hip enough to follow the comic book culture with all the variations of Batman and the back stories to the various comic book themes. I was raised in a rural area, so the ability to obtain comic books was severely limited….but I digress. Suffice to say, I am a Bat follower of the standard variety.
With that being said, who wouldn’t want to be Bruce Wayne/Batman? International philanthropist by day and crime fighter by night; he had the best of both worlds. He influenced his surroundings positively during the day and mitigated the effects of the negative during the night. What if Bruce Wayne was all we needed to fix the negativity of the world? That would be lovely, however it is a fantasy. Thankfully, there are heroes who work to make the world a better place.
To make real change requires a grass roots approach at changing the world generationally. This is why programs, such as drug abuse prevention, begin with children in second grade. Non-profit organizations such at the United Way, focus programming on childhood development. The logic of this approach is to help children grow to thrive as responsible adults within the community. This is the one way to effect permanent systematic change within a culture.
We will always need the United Way’s of the world. While they might not fight crime in a bat suit and drive a most excellent car, these folks do make the world a better place.
Connie Hanner is a PhD student in non-profit organizational leadership and a veteran of both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Visit her website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.