I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about the ways we help each other. One Mountain Away, coming in August, explores that question among many others, and it will come up again and again as the series progresses. Do we give money? Do we bring casseroles? Do we hold hands and provide a listening ear? Do we give someone who needs it a kick in the pants? Do we intervene in a dangerous situation by alerting authorities who might be able to help?
A man in Baltimore County, Maryland, made the news this week with his own unique twist. With absolutely no fanfare Lenny B. Robinson, 48, wealthy and self-made, dresses up in a Batman costume, hops in his Lamborghini and visits sick children. What better job for the Caped Crusader?
Mr. Robinson doesn’t don his cape for publicity. When the police stopped him recently for having a license plate with the bat symbol instead of the more usual numbers and letters, he got out of his car dressed in full bat regalia and for the first time the world was aware something odd was afoot in Gotham. But Robinson doesn’t extol his own virtues. Today’s Washington Post published a front page story about him, written by a family friend with insight and sentiment, but only because bits and pieces of the story were already filtering out after the police encounter.
Picture a cancer ward filled with little children fighting for their lives. In strides Batman, sweating beneath a specially made mask–he sweats away five or six pounds of water weight at each engagement. Batman doesn’t come empty-handed, of course. Robinson spends $25,000 a year on Batman toys and memorabilia, and he gives it–autographed when he can–to every child who needs cheering. And which of these children wouldn’t?
Imagine the excitement, the hope, the joy that a real live Superhero is there to hold your hand and ask how you’re feeling, when that’s exactly what you need most? Imagine the healing?
Our world can be unspeakably sad and lonely. But people like Lenny B. (for Batman?) Robinson remind me that no matter who we are, we can reach out in myriad ways to change it.
I’ve never been a big fan of Batman, but today I changed my mind. Thank you, Caped Crusader, and all the other superheroes out there, in whatever disguise you wear, for reminding us that in our own way, we can always make a difference.