Do superheroes need insurance?
QUESTION: Honestly, I find life insurance agents too persistent. They seem not capable of taking a “no” for an answer. And if you are finally able to get them to back down, they ask for referrals. But I am not willing to let my friends go through the same badgering. I am young and have a long life ahead of me. I do not need life insurance. Whatever benefits life insurance can pay, I can earn for myself. How do I effectively communicate this to life insurance agents?—(From “Ask a friend, ask Efren” free service available at www.personalfinance.ph and Facebook)
Answer: Being young, you are probably very familiar with how Hollywood has reinvigorated stories of fictional superheroes created in the 1930s up to World War II. So tell me, are any of these superheroes truly invincible? I will borrow some of the arguments put forward by Charlie Jane Anders and Abhimanyu Das in their article “10 Obvious Superhero Weaknesses (That Supervillains Hardly Ever Exploit)”.
Many of the superheroes wear capes as part of their costumes. We can glean that since these costumes hardly get torn even under strong explosions, such costumes are also indestructible. But, these capes can get caught in something (like the engine of an airplane), and ensnare our superheroes. You only need to watch the superhero movie “The Incredibles” to see how.
Some of our crime fighters put on heavy body armor but forget to cover their faces. The dynamic duo and Batgirl are shining examples. And if ever they don masks, they would have limited peripheral vision.
Superheroes are also supersensitive. They can, for example hear the faintest cry for help. A mad scientist can simply come up with a device that will simultaneously distract all senses and disorient our superhero while the scientist-villain commits dastardly deeds. The movie “Man of Steel” exposed such weakness in super beings, particularly when Superman broke General Zod’s helmet.
A swinging superhero like Spiderman will be utterly useless if he is challenged in wide-open spaces where there are no tall buildings to latch on to.
One more thing, all superheroes have the supernatural strength and inclination to care for and protect the helpless. But it is this same super strength that is also their super weakness. That is why, many times, our fictional superheroes have to give in (albeit temporarily) to villains when the latter threaten to do harm to their loved ones.
All superheroes are vulnerable. They have to be that way so that there is excitement in reading their exploits. For a moment, evil will win the battle.
We are all superheroes. The mere struggles that we go through daily in life make us so. Even waking up in the morning is heroic. As St. Josemaria Escriva writes:
“The heroic minute. It is the time fixed for getting up. Without hesitation: A supernatural reflection and … up! The heroic minute: Here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does no harm to your body. If, with God’s help, you conquer yourself, you will be well ahead for the rest of the day. It’s so discouraging to find oneself beaten at the first skirmish.” (cf. The Way 206)
But just like our fictional superheroes, our vulnerabilities give spice to our lives. And the one thing that we have not as mere mortals conquered, and will never do, is death. We know not the time, place nor the manner that our lives will be snuffed out.
Now let’s put everything together. You are the superhero of your family. You are the superstar, megastar—why, even the star for all seasons. But as the universe has taught us, stars themselves eventually age and die. The large stars go out in what is called a supernova, a stellar explosion that briefly outshines an entire galaxy before it fades from view over several weeks or months. A supernova is the catalyst that provides new elements to create a more complex and wondrous galaxy.
Life insurance makes you ready all the time for the battle that our supervillain—death—may temporarily win. But shortly thereafter, you will win the war because you will go out like a supernova, spreading the elements that your loved ones will need to shine as superheroes to their own families.
And this is why life insurance agents keep knocking on your door. Do yourself and your family the favor of opening the door for those who can help you become battle-ready.
(Efren Ll. Cruz is a Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines, personal finance coach, seasoned investment adviser and bestselling author. Questions about the article may be sent via SMS to 0917-505-0709 or e-mailed to [email protected] To learn about retirement and estate planning, attend Chartered Trust and Estate Planner (CTEP) on Jan 23-Feb 27, 2016. For more details, inquire at [email protected] or text <name><email><CTEP> at 0917-3464126)
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