Marvel Comics’ legendary comic book writer, editor and publisher Stan Lee died Nov. 12 at age 95.
Lee created memorable Marvel Comics superheroes—The Avengers, X-Men, The Punisher and Deadpool, to name a few. He played a pivotal role in how Marvel became the amazing comic-book brand it is today.
Here are some of the lessons we learned from the superheroes Lee created:
Captain America: Never give up on your friends.
“I’m with you till the end of the line,” says Steve Rogers to his best friend, Sergeant James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes. This is a line in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” when a brainwashed Bucky nearly kills Steve.
But Captain America never gives up on his friend. He always believes that Bucky is a good man and that the real him is deep down inside. Even if the rest of the Avengers are hell-bent on taking Bucky down in “Captain America: Civil War,” Steve protects him and even seeks the help of T’Challa (of “Black Panther” fame) to freeze Bucky until they can cure him of his brainwashing.
Like Captain America, we must never give up on our friends, especially if they need our help. True friends stick together through thick and thin, till the end of the line.
Iron Man: Stay confident.
Self-confidence is one of the traits Tony Stark is known for. Unlike other superheroes who choose to hide behind a mask, Tony is proud to tell the world that he is, indeed, Iron Man. He believes in his talents and skills and that he can accomplish anything.
Like Tony, we should also be proud of who we are. Believe in yourself and your abilities, and you will succeed.
Agent Peggy Carter: Be strong enough to move on and start over.
Despite being a very tough and independent woman, SHIELD founder Margaret “Peggy” Carter has experienced crushing moments. One of the most heartbreaking scenes in the TV show “Agent Carter” is when Peggy is given the last vial of Steve Rogers’ blood.
“Bye, my darling,” she says tearfully as she stands on the Brooklyn Bridge and empties the vial’s contents in the East River.
Like Peggy, we should be strong enough to move on. We can never change history but we can certainly work toward a better future. If you experienced pain and hurt, have the courage and acceptance to let them go and start all over again.
Thor: Never let pain put you down.
In “Avengers: Infinity War,” Thor loses his brother Loki and the remaining survivors of Asgard when he encounters the mad supervillain Thanos.
But Thor didn’t let the pain of loss bring him down. Instead, he uses it to push himself to become stronger than ever. In his grief, he manages to do the impossible: He holds open a dying star, and is the only Avenger who comes close to killing Thanos.
Like Thor, don’t let pain drag you down. Let it inspire you to work harder and become stronger.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Family is not limited to blood ties.
They are of different species and hail from different planets, yet they come together with one goal: guarding the galaxy against evil forces that seek to destroy it.
An accidental family, the Guardians of the Galaxy stick together through laughter and sadness, triumphs and disappointments, proving that no matter who you are or where you come from, there will be people who will stay with you through life’s highs and lows.
Doctor Strange: Be humble.
Doctor Stephen Strange is the textbook definition of “narcissist.” Sure, confidence is necessary to reach one’s full potential.
But an excess of anything, confidence included, is dangerous. Too much pride can make one complacent, reckless or feel like one’s infallible and beyond failure. Eventually, this mentality will prove him wrong, as what happens to Doctor Strange.
Training under the Ancient One taught him the value of humility. He learns to accept his flaws, eventually returning as a stronger, powerful and, yes, kinder person.
Spider-Man: You can do anything, even when you’re young.
As the youngest member of the Avengers, Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, tends to be dismissed and picked on by his teammates, especially Tony Stark.
They assume he isn’t strong or experienced enough to fight heavy battles because he’s only 18. But Peter always proves them wrong by showing that he can do so much more.
We always hear people say, “Oh, you can do that when you’re older,” “That’s only for grownups” or “Maybe one day you can, but not now, you’re too young.” Why wait to achieve your dreams?
Like Peter Parker, don’t let your age define or limit you. You’re never too young or old to follow your dreams and you can start now!