Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Seeing The Power Of Compassion In Wonder Woman

By Kate Bittner

I didn’t expect to have such an inspirational and life-changing experience in such an ordinary movie theater. I was so excited to see the new Wonder Woman movie for my birthday since I thought it would be an interesting movie, but it was so much more than that. It was truly phenomenal and left me in awe. It was especially wonderful with Gal Gadot as the leading heroine; she is the epitome of elegance and grace.

All superheroes have always been fascinating to us as a human race with their incredible superhuman powers, immeasurable strength, ability to fly faster than a bullet, to change their physical form, to be able to heal instantly and so many more abilities we can’t even imagine. But Wonder Woman has a superhuman ability that sets her apart from any other superhero, and truly it makes her the strongest superhero in history – her virtue of compassion.

I won’t give too many spoilers away for those of you who still want to see the movie, but her story is incredible. She knew very little about the world around her since she lived her whole life on an isolated island with a family of women called the Amazons. She grew in knowledge, strength and discipline, training every day with her warrior sisters. When she discovers the world outside of her island is war-torn and in need of hope, she leaves her family and her home to bring the world to peace. She sacrifices everything and leaves everyone she’s ever known – all the while knowing she will never be able to return – so that she can become the savior for a world she has never experienced. “Who will I be if I stay? Who will I be if I sit by and do nothing?” She brings her gifts and her strength to fight for the people who are hopeless in the face of the inescapable war.

In the face of every impossible situation, she perseveres. Every odd is stacked against her, but she is continually determined to give refuge for those in the midst of agony. She has only her abilities to guide her and her values of truth, courage and love. “I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves … I cannot stand by while innocent lives are lost!” She looks past the politics of the war and the rationality that one person alone cannot make a difference, and instead looks deeper into the broken lives that are crushed by fear and the ever-present threat of death. She doesn’t try to be a hero and chase the fame; her motivation is focused on saving the innocent and helpless. Her compassion is what drives her to do the unthinkable in the face of impossible.

Her new friends try to persuade her that nothing she can do will help because millions of military men have died in the fight. But she doesn’t give up hope. “It's about what you believe. And I believe in love. Only love will truly save the world.”

Even though her origin story takes place in the throes of World War I, she is an inspiration for us today. There are so many impossible injustices around us; and we think to ourselves, “there is nothing I alone can do to help these people.” But with courage and compassion to guide us, there is always something even one person can do. Each of us has strengths and gifts we can offer to our world in need of hope. We may not be superhuman or a demigod like Wonder Woman, but each one of us has the amazing and almost-unexpected ability to show unconditional love for those who need it the most. “No matter how small an act of kindness, generosity or simple positivity you put into the world, it will make a difference.”