In the midst of our crumbling economy, everybody secretly dreams of a Superhero showing up unexpectedly to save the day.
We all are familiar with the heroic stunts of the supreme and so far unmatched hero of our time, Superman; the mental image of his windblown red cape, as he cruises the skies looking for people to help, still causes everyone to smile and brings out the child in even the oldest person out there.
Everyone is out to be saved, and when times get tough even the tough tremble under the threat of a shaky economy. In the worst 'financial pandemic' to hit the world in decades, the average citizen worries about what's coming next. An increasing number of people have been pawning items from their home to bridge the growing gap between their income and the price of food and gas.
Although in America our gas prices are quite cheap compared to other nations (in Europe gas averages now over $10-$15 per gallon), our already heavily indebted economy has been strongly impacted by the skyrocketing prices. The cost of food has also increased, pushing families to consider extreme measures such as separating from treasured heirlooms in favor of putting food on the table and gas in their tanks.
But alas, a new brand of hero has finally been spotted cruising the highways of Connecticut: The Gas Men. Wearing sunglasses, baseball caps, matching green shirts and khakis, The Gas Men have been seen approaching motorists at the pump in Plainville, Connecticut, and handing out nice crisp $100s, along with a card that reads: "Re-Fueling Our Community".
So, who are The Gas Men? As the once more popular Super Heroes, they have not been identified, but it is speculated that they are a duo of wealthier citizens who feel the pain of the not-so-fortunate others.
Saying that this kind of news segment is heartwarming barely scratches the surface. As security crumbles, and the proverbial rug is swept from under their feet, people tend to disconnect from one another, listening only to the call of the ego. All the lessons from Sunday School and the scoldings from loving parents are quickly forgotten, as the majority of people feel that they should not share with others when they don't even have enough for themselves.
Hard times are a test of faith among the crowds. All of us have experienced receiving something in return after selflessly giving; yet, when fear of survival kicks in, everyone shuts the doors connecting to others. We become prisoners of our own fears and only listen to the threatening call of the ego. Giving DOES lead to receiving, as the feeling of having done something good offsets the many pangs of guilt we all suffer from, to some degree, within the inner recesses of the Self. By committing selfless acts we trigger subconscious responses that allow us to attract more abundance in our lives because we feel we are worthy of the incoming bounty.
Mass media encourages fear, and quickly blinds us to what we know to be good and holy, by constantly painting a picture that is nothing short of apocalyptic, and it is up to us to retain our inner balance and maintain a clear perception. When the dangers of the Bird Flu first appeared and were picked up by the media, the real threat was inflated into mass hysteria; news segments on multiple channels warned of an impending pandemic which was forecasting the death of at least one third of the world population. We were told that the current flu vaccines were useless, and that nobody had a real chance to protect themselves. Fear escalated to panic, and people steered clear of anything bearing wings. That threat, as most others that are picked up by the media to instill fear and increase their ratings, was certainly blown out of proportion. So are most other threats that are painted with the color of impending doom.
To be able to see things clearly and draw meaningful conclusions, we have to shed the blindfold of fear; only when we are able to stand on neutral ground, we can truly say that we can make conscious choices that will affect us and the rest of the world.
That's why it is nice to see that, even in the midst of widespread panic, Angels still walk among us, setting an example that should be considered our map on the journey to financial security.
Maybe, someday, The Gas Men will even be featured in Marvel Comics.