Recently one of my son’s favorite TV stations conducted a survey of children. They asked kids which superpower they would rather have: the ability to fly or to be invisible?

To me it seemed to be a no-brainer–to fly most definitely!

First of all, I think the ability to fly offers a lot more opportunity for fun, adventure, and freedom. Just think about being able to go anywhere, anytime you want, without worrying about traffic, road conditions, or gas money!

While being invisible offers a range of opportunities as well it just seems so sneaky to me that I feel uncomfortable even thinking about it.

My son agreed with me. He thought flying would be a lot more fun. No surpise there as he is a physical child who enjoys being on the go.

Then I really started to think about the question. What does our choice say about us? I think I would really want to know why a child would choose invisibility over flying. I would fear that a child who chose that option either already felt invisible or wished they were. I would worry about their self-esteem and security in social interactions.

Of course, on the other hand, there are certain practical considerations. There are a number of instances where invisibility could serve many purposes for good on a small or large scale.

Apparently this question has been around for some time. A public radio station did a program on superheroes some time ago and took a survey asking which power their audience would prefer, the power to fly or to be invisible.

Men overall, voted that they wanted to fly and women that they wanted to be invisible. Why? So that the men could fly their kids to school and soccer instead of fighting traffic and women wanted to be invisible so that they could sit in on conversations and hear what was being said about them. No one wanted to use the super power to help others.

I find that survey even more disappointing than the one for kids. But not surprising. I am not a cynical person (except when it comes to my students’ excuses for not doing their homework) in general but more often when I hear some act of courageous good I am surprised rather than affirmed.

So while this could certainly appear to be a superficial question, something like the Barbara Walter’s “If you could be an animal, what would you be” type, but I think it could lead to a much deeper discussion. What do you think?

Which would you rather be? Which superpower would you rather your child have?

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