Growing up, I had a friend who loved comic books. Specifically, those about superheroes, like The Fantastic Four, Captain America, Green Lantern, and of course, Superman. I wish I could say I shared his interest and his ability to drift into those fantasy worlds, but I think I was too much of a cynic. I couldn’t turn a page without thinking to myself, “Oh come on, that’s impossible!”
This was especially true when it came to the character Daredevil, the mild-mannered, New York City crime fighter who just happened to be...blind!! I was willing to suspend my skepticism when it came to characters with lightning fast speed, super human strength, and body armor that could deflect bullets, but I wasn’t about to believe a single, average-sized man could defeat an entire gang of hoods that he couldn’t even see. I mean, that’s just crazy, right?
Well, apparently not. It seems that some recent studies have confirmed that humans have an inherent capacity to “see” using sound. It’s a system called echolocation and is similar to the ability of some bats, dolphins, and whales that send out high-frequency squeals, clicks, chirps and moans and then listen to the echoes that are reflected in order to gauge their environment and determine how close surrounding objects are. Although not as keen or developed as those other animals, that same potential is buried deep within our human brains.
I was thinking this ability to echolocate is a really good thing, especially in today’s world. We spend so much time making noise and sending out signals, but never listen for the echos. We blog and tweet and email and facebook, but never gauge the response. Are they hitting any objects close by or simply disappearing into an abyss? Maybe Daredevil had it right after all. Maybe you don't need to be bigger, stronger, faster, or possess some amazing superpower to win your battles. Maybe you just need to be a good listener. To make some noise and then listen carefully to the sounds that reverberate back.