Feb 01, 2021
I’ve always loved superheroes. I wasn’t even particular about them. As long as they had a superhero suit and they tried to save the day, I was a fan. Sure, I had my favorites (Superman), but I actually like all the ones I was able to watch on Saturday morning.
One superhero was a little different from the rest though, Plastic Man. Do you remember him? He was different because he was funny. His power was that he was ridiculously plastic, like silly putty. And along with his power, his character was mixed with a great deal of humor, wit, and mishaps. But like all good superheroes, Plastic Man saved the day, eventually, but as he did it, he made you laugh.
The reason I’m telling you this is because Plastic Man had a cool superpower that we actually do have - plasticity.
Did you know your brain is plastic?
What that means is that your brain is capable of change, constantly, throughout your life. And it is a super power. Your brain is constantly creating neural connections (it wires itself) whenever you learn something new or whenever you have a new thought. And, it is also constantly either strengthening those connections or removing them. Your brain is always changing. It’s plastic.
And here is why that’s a superpower:
I have a friend, Mrs. V, who is a tremendous athlete. One day she had a very significant stroke. It took away her ability to run, walk, and have controlled movement. It also took her ability to speak clearly. Not only that but for a brief while, it took her hope.
I have another friend, Mrs. J, who is a real-life superhero. This friend showed Mrs. V how to get on the floor to roll, rock and crawl. She spent time with Mrs. V to help her remember how to breathe again. After that very first movement session, Mrs. V was speaking more clearly.
I say Mrs. J is a real-life superhero because she loved Mrs. V enough to help her start where she was, she helped Mrs. V remember how to breathe and crawl again. And you know what, Mrs. V’s plastic brain rewired itself through those childlike movements and Mrs. V’s body was restored to her again. Not only was her body restored, but so was her hope and her contagious spirit.
The truth is, Mrs. V is also a real-life superhero. She got knocked down, very hard, and she literally learned how to get back up. She put in the time to relearn how to move again, and by doing this, she re-wired her plastic brain and she got her life back. I’m not sure I’ve actually met anyone as passionate about life as she is. It’s contagious.
Anyway, we all have superpowers. We can help others, we can help save the day, and we can even re-wire our own brains. They are plastic. This means we can change how we move, we can change how we think, and we can change how we act. We are never stuck. We can always change. We are plastic.