Costume Not Required-but it may help.
2013/10/18 18:18

Acts of kindness don’t require masks and capes, or do they? Whether you decide to dote the latest spandex unitard with matching mask and cape, or your regular jeans and favorite hoodie, doing good deeds is never out of style.  We are always on the lookout for people who are generating, spreading and boasting kindness, regardless of their attire.

I came across a news story about a man in Tokyo, who dresses in a green Power Ranger suit, and waits at the top of the subway stairs to help people carry their large bags, strollers or other.  What a nice gesture, right? Well, there is a story behind his need for a costume.

“The slender 27-year-old has spent three months being a Good Samaritan at the station on Tokyo’s western side. Like many in the city, it has neither elevators nor escalators and a long flight of dimly lit stairs.

In a green outfit with silver trim and matching mask, a superhero, who calls himself Carry-Your-Pram-Ranger, waits by the stairs of the Tokyo subway station, lending his strength to the elderly, passengers lugging heavy packages and mothers with baby strollers.”

When Tadahiro Kanemasu began doing these good deeds, people looked at him like he was a “weirdo.”  Apparently in Tokyo, patrons have a hard time accepting help because they feel that they are supposed to help the other person, so it puts them in an awkward “How can I help you if you are helping me?” catch-all, additionally, people are taught to avoid anything that may be seen as a ‘risk’.  Ok, I can see how a man grabbing ahold of your bags in a subway station when you are all alone, female and elderly, could be seen as a risk, but c’mon, the man actually has good intentions for once.  Doesn’t it bother you that there are so many ‘bad’ people in the world that the ones who are trying to help are seen as predators?

This is where the costume came into play.  When Kanemasu started appearing in his ‘Green Ranger’ costume, and offering to help, people still looked at him like he was a weirdo, but “in a good way”.  Funny how that works: street clothes=risk, funny costume=safe? I don’t know, but I’ll take it, and lately, there seems to be interest from others:

“Since Kanemasu can set aside only a couple of hours each day for his good deeds [he also works in an organic greenhouse-hence the color choice of his ranger] he hopes to recruit others in different colored suits. Already he has inquiries about pink and red.”

You are certainly not expected to roam the streets in the wee hours of the morning in some crazy get-up to be a superhero.  There are many quick-and less fashionable (in my opinion)- ways to make someone’s day a little less hectic.  Volunteer at a children’s hospital (who wouldn’t want to play an hour of their week away), offer to carry groceries for the elderly lady at the store, mow a little outside of your own property lines (and onto your neighbors lawn) next time you are doing yard work; and if you want to wear a cape while doing it, we won’t judge you, in fact, please send pictures.

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