Cross-Post: On Not Using My Powers For Good

As originally posted today on


I promised to use my powers for good. I probably even meant it when I said it. It certainly did not seem like this would present a problem.

Then, someone took me at my word. Ok, he said. Go ahead, now, and while you are at it, take this sword of truth with you.We really were not using it much. It was just over here in the corner, gathering dust. Off with you, now.

Warrior princess, sally forth and find yourself a worthy opponent. Do battle. Slay dragons. Shoo.

I admit, I was a little bit taken aback. I thought I was just playing with the universe, a sweet little game of “go fish.” I did not expect it to fish back, metaphorically speaking. Truth be told, I was hoping to hang on to that rainbow fish card a bit longer. It was pretty.

Sometimes, I forget that the universe has a weird sense of humor.

Ok, said the universe. Go ahead. Use your powers for good. But when the time came to sit here in front of the keyboard, I found myself at a loss. What were my powers? How could I use them? What would using them for good even look like?

I was guessing that this was not supposed to look so much like a game of “go fish.” And I do not have the least clue what to do with a sword of truth. I much prefer the bow of infinite jest.

So, I’m not doing it. Nope. I refuse to use my powers for good.

You can stop reading now, if you really want to.

Brinksmanship with the universe is generally not recommended, but then, I have a weird sense of humor.

What Now?

Perhaps I should try for something a bit more profound.

I will say this: maybe, just maybe, there was a time when you, too, promised to use your own powers for good. Maybe, like me, you have also been given chances that you did not really think you deserved.

Once upon a time, like all fairy tales, it all started with such good intentions. We meant well, you and I. We thought we could make a difference. We thought we understood things.

But the truth is that I am mostly not using my powers for good. And if you will be honest with yourself, neither are you. Deep down, we know it. If we were, this world would look a lot different.

That feels pretty rotten, along the lines of that terrible and haunting moment in the battle when the Hero at last says to the Worthy Opponent, “You could have used your powers for good.”

She returns, “I know, but it is too late now.” She fights back, instead. Then, she dies.

Oh. Wait a second. I am not dead, yet.

It must not be too late. I can still be the Hero, if I want. Maybe.

Ok, universe. Go fish.

Or, tell me something special now:

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