Friday, May 10, 2013

Superpowers and Wishful Thinking

What superpower would you most like to have? I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of superpowers and psychic powers. Some of my favorite books, even as a child, featured characters that had psychic abilities. Not that it’s a real possibility, but sometimes I wonder what I would pick if I were suddenly given a choice.

Tonight I would like to be able to levitate. I am at my mother’s house and she has this one cat who is really, really insane. He hisses and snarls and swipes at people for no reason at all. He bit my mom about 20 minutes ago, just out of nowhere. He’s pretty scary, to be honest, and so I was wishing I could levitate so I could get around the house without having to walk past him. I could just levitate over, you see. Although my mom pointed out that he’d probably be even crazier and jump up and try to bite me. So perhaps that's not a great idea.

When I’m stuck in traffic on the way to work, I wish I could teleport. I especially wish this on days I am running a little late. Just concentrate hard and pop! I dematerialize and rematerialize somewhere else. If I could just teleport myself into my office the daily commute would be so much easier. If it worked over long distances or I could carry other people with me that would be even better. Just think, no more waiting around in airports in order to be crammed into an airplane for multiple hours desperately trying to amuse a toddler.

I sometimes wish I could be telepathic with specific people. You know, send my husband a telepathic message when I don’t want someone else to hear something. Around our daughter we spell but that gets tedious after a while and also I’m not sure it will work well for more than a few more years. As a general rule though I’m not sure I really want to know what most people are thinking. I am a firm believer in the idea that what counts is the words you actually say and the actions you actually perform. I’d rather not have anyone else know what I wrestle with beforehand and I’d rather not know about other people either. I think in general being telepathic would be a pretty awful experience. It’s just better not to know some things.

When my ankle was first broken I wished pretty strongly to be able to move things with my mind (telekinesis). It was very frustrating to have to constantly ask my husband to get me this or bring me that. He was very sweet about it but I think it was a little wearing for him too. I also wanted to be able to help pick up my daughter’s toys, which I couldn’t do well on crutches or from the scooter. So the idea of zipping things around the room with my mind was really appealing.

I suppose what I would want most of all would be the ability to heal. When I’m sitting with a patient I sometimes wish for this very strongly. Particularly when I am working with very sick people in the hospital, or some of the cancer patients I see. And also sometimes with patients who have really challenging psychiatric illnesses, people who are suffering terribly whom I just can’t help well enough. I do pray for them, quietly and unobtrusively, but it would be awesome to be able to take their sickness and pain away and give them back health. It can be really frustrating to be a doctor sometimes. Medicine is wonderful; don’t get me wrong. We’ve certainly come a long way in a short period of time, and more is learned every day. But medicine is also so limited. There is still so much more we don’t know and can’t do. A healing superpower would be really nice to have.