At one end of a humanity spectrum, I place people who have tapped into something profound, perhaps some kind of Truth (with an upper case T). At the other end, I place people who believe they know what is best for everyone. At the profound end are people like Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr (I like to put Mr. Rogers there, too, btw). At the other end, are religious or political fundamentalists, people like Hitler or, perhaps, not quite so far or dramatically, someone like Jerry Falwell.
Considering this spectrum, I place Stargirl toward the “profound” end, despite sometimes behaving in ways that makes some feel she is “better” than them. I believe that, for whatever reason, she has been able to maintain a child-like wonder and curiosity about the world. In maintaining it, she has also been able to season it with a level of knowledge that helps her put her awarenesses into practice. Archie recognizes this and may be trying to guide Leo to understand it. But Archie has something that Stargirl doesn’t fully have, a level of wisdom that allows him to understand the importance of sharing an awareness in a way that matches the recipient’s readiness level. Stargirl takes the profound truths of which she is aware and runs with them, much like a young racehorse gets to the track and wants to run at top speed. Archie is able to balance what he knows with what his young charges are ready to assimilate, like a veteran racehorse is willing to be guided by its jockey to conserve its energy for the stretch run.
So Stargirl ruffles a lot of feathers by stepping too far. The majority of people she encounters aren’t ready for her messages (especially teens who are trying so hard developmentally to just “fit in”). And isn’t this the same fate that MLK had, to the point of being assassinated? Of Jesus? Of so many others who help push humanity to the next level?
If Stargirl can cultivate wisdom to go along with her awarenesses, this issue of overstepping boundaries will be greatly reduced, maybe even eliminated. For me, this issue seems to be the crux of growing up in this day and age. How do we raise children in a way that helps them maintain their inherent curiosity and intuition, giving them the time to hone it with the wisdom that comes from life experience?
NEXT STEP: Assignment #3