The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is a “winning adaptation” (The Hollywood Reporter) of the best-selling novel by Rick Riordan. The story follows Percy Jackson as he discovers his differences are actually superpowers. Below, our guest blogger, Owen Fitzpatrick, discusses how “the things that make you different are the things that make you strong!”
Have you wondered if there are signs you might be a demigod? Maybe you’ve missed something along the way that points to the glaringly obvious fact that you have super powers. If you are still reading what I’m writing after those first two sentences, chances are pretty good that you are one.
I’m not talking about the fact that you’ve stared at a spoon and tried to bend it with your mind or tried to use the force to propel the remote from across the couch so you don’t have to get up. Not that I’d know what that’s like. Do you feel like you are different than everyone else? Everyone is. Everyone is different. The Lightning Thief tells us that “normal is a myth. Everyone has issues they’re dealing with.”
Rick Riordan wrote these books for his son who has ADHD. He wanted to turn a stigma into a super power, and he did. What makes you different is what makes you great. Percy’s dyslexia makes it hard for him to do well in school, but it also allows him to understand ancient Greek. His constantly shifting focus, which is a struggle for those with ADHD, alerts him to constant threats around him and increases his awareness in battle. Rick Riordan, tells us in no uncertain terms that so-called “disabilities” are the strengths of demigods.
In The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, Percy is under tons of pressure. He’s resisting and trying to deny the fact that he’s a demigod. Zeus is accusing him of stealing his lightning bolt. Percy has no say over the direction his life is going and he’s trying to prevent an all-out war among the gods. He needs to accept his role in the mythological world. He can’t change who he is, but he does have to work hard.
Accepting yourself can really be challenging, and, most of the time, we make it harder on ourselves. Our minds torment us with thoughts such as “I’m a loser” or “I’m weird.” Telling ourselves to “wake up” and “snap out of it” won’t do much and only makes us more anxious. Another challenge is the belief that we don’t need self-acceptance and we have to change. This belief is rooted in the negative messages we receive every day. From the minor ones like “work a little faster” or “you’re too quiet” to bullying and harassment. These messages undermine our self-worth and our self-confidence.
Accepting your challenges can prove to be crucial when your confidence starts to topple. It’s important to remember that no one person is alike. Everyone has weaknesses, but everyone also has strengths. It’s not a good idea to compare yourself to others. Overly focusing on other people’s strengths may highlight your own weaknesses, which can be destructive. In my opinion, the most critical thing is to always know that no one is perfect. You are an unfinished project, work in progress, and so is everyone else. We are all demigods.