One of the most inspirational activities that I have created for the classroom is one where I ask my students to imagine that they have one superpower of their choosing. My preference is not to limit the power in any way, for the sake of having them exercise their imaginations. Most of the time, they surprise me with both ingenuity and their humanitarian spirits.

Some of these are chain reactions – it’s easier to duplicate the choice of the student next to you than create a superpower to dazzle classmates. But on those delightful occasions when a child ponders all possibilities, I am always exhilarated by their responses.

Without exception, when children devise that their superpower will deliver boundless wealth, they use that wealth to serve others. Usually, money is used to eliminate hunger and build large, comfortable homes for many people. My guess is that the money is derived from having enough smarts to generate huge sums – that’s not always made clear and I choose not to ask.

In other classes, usually with older children, the superpower is strength. They dream of using physical strength to fight crime, protect the weak and generally ensure a safe environment for all. Sadly, my students see the evils of society that surround them. But they never stop wanting to fix things. Somehow, I wish that I could capture this idealism and enthusiasm so that I can deliver it to adults. Shalom.

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