The morals of the Batman

The Bat Signal Photo Credit: Michael Li, flickr

By Julian Finholm

Any comic book hero can teach a lesson, and Batman is no exception. Yes, he is brooding. But he’ll always have a light within him due to his compassion and endurance. He also knows how to improvise when the going gets tough. Here are some of the most important lessons I’ve learned from Batman.

The story in “The Man Who Laughs” is about Batman first meeting his arch nemesis, the Joker. Joker terrorizes Gotham’s elites and civilians in his very first sighting. The Dark Knight, a man who’s prepared himself for Gotham’s criminal element in his war against crime, is stuck on how to deal with this man. This is relatable because I’ve found myself struggling in unfamiliar situations many times, such as when meeting new people or struggling with an assignment. It’s a stressful predicament, but not one that can’t be overcome.

It’s not until later on in the story where Batman learns to adapt when he figures out the Joker’s plan. Batman wins by understanding the weirdness of Joker’s schemes and adapting accordingly. Others can do the same whenever the unexpected occurs in their lives. I can ask for help on assignments when I’m struggling so I can understand what to do to complete them. This can also be solved by getting to know a wide variety of people and learning to understand each other. These problems, whether faced by me, Batman, or anyone else, are not impossible to get through, and adapting can lead to a better understanding of how they can be solved.

“The Long Halloween” is a tragic murder mystery, but contains two themes not outwardly expressed in the story: hope and faith. Bruce Wayne has faith in Gotham City and its citizens. Even with Harvey Dent becoming Two-Face, deaths piling up at every turn, and the stress it puts on everyone including himself, Batman still carries on. He carries on hoping for things to get better and for his ability to guide Gotham towards getting better despite the trials and tribulations in front of him. 

Hope is something everyone needs for their dreams to come true. With hope, anyone can go the distance to fulfill those dreams, and continuously view life in a positive manner. Despite the hardships, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, a phrase that’s filled to the brim with hope. So long as people have hope, they’ll always have a reason to enjoy life, something Batman holds onto when trying to improve Gotham. If he can remain optimistic in tough times, so can anyone else.

Another lesson Batman shows us is the importance of compassion. I try to show compassion to everyone I meet as it’s a very vital skill. Besides being a part of who I am, compassion can breed understanding between others, leading to strong relationships. This is especially the case with “Batman: The Killing Joke,” in which Batman tries reaching out to Joker to save him from himself. Although it doesn’t work, Batman won’t stop trying to extend his hand to those in need, even sitting with a little girl in her final days in spite of all the pain he’s seen.

Batman is a hero because he is a good man, and he shows us how to live with compassion and hope as we adapt to new challenges. He is a good man who’s inspired others, myself included, to turn pain into power. It’s a hard task to be a hero. But anyone can do good. Anyone can learn from Batman, and in turn, by following his example, anyone can become kind enough to be their own hero.