What can we learn from Batman?

kill batman   :p

Answer by Shreyas Vasant Joshi:

So, my first answer on Quora. 🙂 forgive me if it turns out to be a bit long.

To me, Batman is something more than a fictional character from graphic novels. He represents the good and the evil in all of us; the constant struggle we each face in our daily lives, the fear we hide deep within. But most of all he represents hope.

Although this question is about Batman, since it's been asked in the "Life" category, I will try to keep the answer as open and generic as possible, citing quotes from the Dark Knight Trilogy by Christopher Nolan so that everyone can relate to it.

1. “People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can’t do that as Bruce Wayne. 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.”

Organizations, revolutions need to be built around ideas, rather than people. Because if they become completely identified with one person, then their fortunes can rise and fall based on what that one person does.

That is why, another quote in the last of the trilogy, "A Hero can be anyone".

2. “It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.”

Actions matter more than intentions. Because deep down, we may all still be that great kid we used to be, but nobody remembers what you meant to do. They only remember what we actually end up doing.

3. “And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

Perhaps the one lesson we should never, ever forget. Pretty self-explanatory.
Batman might have been a psychological wreck from the inside, but it was ultimately what he did that defined him. He went through the tragedy of his parents' death, which could have destroyed his life. Instead, he devoted himself to an ideal… and truly became a legend. 

The list goes on, as the many answers will surely supplement these ones.
But as a true fanboy, I would go one step further and exaggerate that any life lessons you can think of, you can find an example in the life of Bruce / Batman. 🙂

Off the top of my head, a handful ones are –

  • Given enough time of preparation and research, you can face the strongest enemy and win eventually.
  • Never give up.
  • You should strive not to gain reputation for your good deeds, but to do those good deeds for no reason other than that they are good.
  • All villains, of every kind, are superstitious and cowardly.
    • That out of tragedy can come greatness.

    “The thing that separates this film from other superhero films is that Batman is entirely plausible. There aren't any superpowers involved in the film. There aren't any mutants, no characters from other planets. It's set firmly in the real world. And I think in that way it makes it more accessible to the audience. You could never be Superman, you could never be The Incredible Hulk, but anybody could become Batman – you'd have to inherit a couple billion dollars and have all these gadgets, but nevertheless it's possible. Like maybe if we tried hard enough, if we worked hard enough, if we trained hard enough, maybe, just maybe, we could become Batman.”

    ― David Goyer

    And last, but definitely not the least –
    Sometimes the truth isn't good enough, sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded…

    You can do everything right in life, but you might still end up being a villain, because let's face it, we don't live in a Black and White world.
    The hope is that, the right kind of people know your contribution to the world, and if you honestly think about it, that is reason enough to be good. 🙂

    Way back from Middle Earth, this quote from Lord of the Rings fits his crusade perfectly!

    Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

    Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

    Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it's worth fighting for.

    What can we learn from Batman?


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