#mcm - Charles Xavier

Perhaps we should have just said "Sir Patrick Stewart" in the title of this one. Nevertheless, the leader of the X-Men is our man crush of the day. Professor X is a man of several admirable qualities. Widely recognized  as the authority on all things mutant in the Marvel universe, Charles Xavier is the Martin Luther King Jr. of the mutant rights movement. Unlike his friend-turned-arch-rival Magneto, Xavier works tirelessly toward a future in which mutants and humans co-exist in peace with a mutual respect admiration for each other. You have to appreciate his efforts, especially when you take human nature in to account.

As humans, we don't have the best track record for dealing with things we don't understand. To paraphrase one of my favorite lines by Carmine Falcone in Batman Begins, you always fear what you don't understand. Fear of the dark. Fear of change. Fear of the unknown. A surprising amount of human interactions and reactions are driven by the notion of fear. Fear of the Japanese during and after the events of Pearl Harbor resulted in the irrational internment of many Japanese-American citizens like George Takei. Fear of Muslims after the events of 9/11 cast a proverbial shadow of mistrust and profiling. The same can be said of many other unfortunate events in human history and we even see this occurring in the gaming community. Fear of women in gaming. Fear of the emerging casual games market. The issues persist. In the X-Men universe, the large majority of the human population seems to be fearful of the unknown capabilities and general stance of mutants. Professor X aims to help mutants by recruiting them in his school and providing them with the training and education necessary to help them accept and control their powers for the benefit of all mankind: humans and mutants.

We admire the Professor because he is one of the greatest mentors and advocates for equality and mutual respect in all of comics. When we are treated badly or unfairly, our natural reaction is to retaliate and to get even. The problem is that you can't fight hate with more hate. Soon we find ourselves in a never ending cycle of retaliation and hostility. We get angry when we are not accepted by a certain individual or group and so we, in turn, become unaccepting of others. Can you imagine how different the X-Men series would be if Charles Xavier, after being feared and ostracized by humans himself, decided to use his powers to force people to accept and love him? If anything, he wouldn't be the peaceful man we've come to know. Charles is fully aware of his powers and he isn't without his demons.

A large part of the reason we're crushing on him today is because despite being more than capable to just mind zap just about anyone he chooses to his liking, Charles always makes a dedicated effort to keep his more malicious tendencies in check. He constantly aspires not to allow himself to become that which he hates. We all have those moments when we want to tell people how we really feel and lash out because we feel like they deserve it, (and maybe they do), but that type of response generally does nothing except escalate the situation. If you've ever seen or been a part of an argument in the comment section of a YouTube video then you know what I mean. What if we as gamers could take a page from the Professor's book and use our powers for good? If you'e being bullied, don't become a bully. If you're being abused, don't become an abuser. Don't fight fire with more fire. Aspire to be bigger; to be better than the people who haven't been good to you. You can create something positive from adversity just like Professor X.

Just remember: Don't be afraid.