Grown-Ups Are No Longer Superheroes

“Because at that time it seemed to me that adults had a sort of almighty power, I kept telling myself that when I was grown up I would certainly destroy this evil.” ~Ludwik Zamenhof

Sometimes, you come across a quote that doesn’t just tug at your heartstrings. It takes up residence, becoming a player of their melody.

Ludwik Zamenhof, known for his creation of the language Esperanto, grew up witnessing strife between people who spoke different languages. Understandably, he hated it. Esperanto was what he hoped might be a solution. A universal second language to unite people across the divides between their first languages.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with Esperanto. It looks and sounds really neat. But it has some grammatical illogicalities I can’t get past. It would allow me to communicate with people from a wide variety of countries and backgrounds. But I find its utopian dream to be distastefully simplistic.

And then I read that quote.

When we are children, it’s natural to think of our parents and their peers as superhuman. It’s not until we grow up ourselves that we realize the truth. That those grown up powers we thought we would gain were never there to begin with.

Much as I still have my problems with Esperanto, in that moment, I understood Zamenhof in a deep, emotional way. His dream had been shattered. There would be no magic solution to the evil he so longed to end. Yet, he worked to create what he believed could be a solution. And he published its first volume under the name Doktor Esperanto.

Dr. Hopeful One.

If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.

What quotes have caught you and never let you go?

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