"I just wanted to help," he said.

"That's a good thing. You have many admirable qualities, and many of us owe you our lives."

"I'm not sure what the problem is." He looked crestfallen. "People would like me if I help them right?"

"Yes," she said. "I think you're right, but what is it you're hoping to get out of these situations you keep flying into?"

"Me? It's not supposed to be about me, is it? This is about people in trouble, people who need real help, people whose lives are on the line."

"It's true I don't want to discourage you from doing all the great things you're doing, but are you even a character in your own life?"

"What do you mean?" He looked confused. "I get on the news. I get keys to cities. The attention is embarrassing sometimes."

"Do you feel like you don't deserve attention for the things you do?"

"Well, I'd like to think any decent person would do the same if they were in my place, so yeah, it could be anybody in the papers, it just happens to be me."

"So you feel guilty about your fame and try to make up for it by removing yourself from your own story?" she asked.

"I don't know what you mean. I'm always a part of my own life, aren't I?"

"I'm not sure you see it that way anymore. I think you only see the world in terms of problems - other people's problems - and the solutions that are supposed to be there. What about your own problems?"

"My problems?" he asked. "Almost everyone's problems are my problems."

"So you've disappeared from your own story again. Do you have any problems that aren't other people's problems?"

"I'm not supposed to have problems. I have so many gifts, it wouldn't be right to focus on myself when so many others have it much worse than I do."

"And we do appreciate what you do for us, but why do you think we're here then? Scratch that," she paused. "Let's back up a bit. What do you think about the appreciation we give you?"

"I'm grateful, though like I said before, sometimes embarrassed."

"Here's a different question for you. What would you do if all of humanity vanished from this planet, or if all our problems were magically fixed?"

"I guess I'd fly off to somewhere else then, find somewhere I'm needed."

"So you define yourself by other people's problems? What if there were no problems left to fix? Who would you be then?"

He leaned back a bit, thinking for a short moment. "I'm sorry. I'm not even sure I should be here. There are so many more important things I could be doing than talking to you."

"There will always be problems somewhere," she said. "Let the rest of the league handle them for a while."

He seemed anxious and tried to stop fidgeting.

"And my question?" she asked.

"Sorry, what was it again? You reminded me of something the league wanted me to do."

"Who would you be without problems to fix," she said, trying to bring him back to focus.

"Just another person I guess." He looked confused.

"What is that person like?"

"I'm not sure."

"I think you define yourself by the problems you keep throwing yourself into, and repress your true self because you don't think it's important enough compared to the rest of the world."

"Well, it isn't, is it?" he asked.

"Do you ever resent us, for all the trouble we cause you? For keeping you from the life you want to live?"

"Of course not. Who would I be," he paused. "Well I try not to think about that. That is not the type of person I want to be. Nobody else at the league thinks like that."

"Are you sure? What if you all have the same problem? Do you or anybody else at the league ever experience burnout?"

"Yes, I suppose we do."

"And what do you think causes that?"

"So you're telling me we need to put ourselves first despite all the problems in the world? That goes against everything we want to be."

"Burnout doesn't help, does it?" she asked.

"No, I suppose it doesn't."

"I don't think you or others in the league are taking enough time out for yourselves. If you don't stop burnout, it makes it more difficult to help the world doesn't it?"

"So you're saying we should take time off in order to help the world better?"

"That is one way to frame it, yes, if it will make the situation easier to accept."

"One way? How would you frame it then?"

"I'm not sure there is any one right way," she said. "I want you to be happy, doing what you do. Maybe it's selfish for you, maybe it is for us, but how much does that matter?"

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.