Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Legends, Misfits, and (Small and Simple) Stranger Things

A few weeks ago I finished "Stranger Things" Season 3. Part way through the series, I got thinking about how odd the situation was. Not just because of the monster from the Upside-Down and Russian spies in rural Indiana, but because we're rooting for this small group of teenagers to beat all of it. I suppose it make sense though right? Don't we tend to root for the underdogs? The geeky best friend in a chick flick. The (alien) farm boy from Kansas. The skinny kid with asthma (and other things), who just wants to join the army. The outcast. The nobody. The misfit. The small and simple things.

To whatever extent, we relate to these characters. Despite appearances, everyone has insecurities, so we relate to the oddballs. We can't relate to the characters of perceived perfection. They're just too perfect. That's one of the reasons that "Legends of Tomorrow" is possibly my favorite of the Arrowverse TV shows. These are literally B-Team characters from the other shows joining together to be a superhero team. Rip Hunter even told them in Season 1 that taking them from the timeline would make little to no impact. Over the years, that dynamic has changed and characters have come and gone from the Waverider, but the point is still the same. These are lovable misfits. That's why the show is so endearing to me.

And why shouldn't it? Everybody has their day when they feel out of place or like a nobody. Those moments when you're humbled. I think that might be on purpose. To bring in gospel principles, humility is a trait that God desires us to have (see Mosiah 3:19). It's a defining characteristic of charity, the pure love of Christ (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). And furthermore God has a history of using those misfits or nobodies to change in the world! Look at King David the shepherd, Joseph Smith the farm boy, and even His Beloved Son Jesus Christ, the carpenter's son.

Alma taught his son that by "small and simple things are great things brought to pass" (Alma 37:6). The Lord told Joseph Smith that "the weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones" (D&C 1:19). So maybe it's not so bad to be nobody. It's okay to be a misfit.

Spoiler alert: those ridiculous teenage boys in Hawkins, Indiana did make a difference. And I'm sure they'll win during Season 4 well. Until then, I'm okay being a misfit. It's part of what makes a Legend.

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