Disaster is a funny old thing – it often brings out the best in us!

Human beings are really good at pulling together when the manure hits the windmill. Ill fortune, tragedy, turmoil all seem to bring us out of our “smallness”. We become more and, as a group, more than the sum of our parts.

We have all heard stories of ordinary people turning into super-heroes. The five-foot-nothing mum who lifts the car from her baby’s pushchair, the wimp who drags victims from a raging inferno. Where does it come from? From some internal resource, we normally do not have access to clearly. And in a group situation, this resource can seem to multiply itself.

But does it have to be calamity that draws out our super-powers? Can we be like this permanently?

I don’t necessarily mean super strength or limitless courage. How about our powers of empathy? Or generosity, tolerance, understanding? These are also super-powers, albeit not outwardly spectacular ones. But they can all be used to make life a little better for our fellows and ourselves.

It is possible to be a better person, to spread joy, to be a helping hand. All that is stopping us is our sense of our own inadequacy. The feeling that “I can’t make a difference”. Well you can. And here’s something that crops up time and time again; when we help someone else, we feel better about ourselves. Our self-assessment improves! And, since almost all of us have a low opinion of ourselves, this can only be good news!

So save life, battle crime and injustice, make the world a better place. And it doesn’t have to be done by brute force the way the comic-book super-heroes operate. You can donate to life-saving charities, support miscarriage of justice firms, volunteer for victim-support groups. Or simply be more thoughtful and proactive as you go about your daily round.

We could can change the world for the better!