TIME’s Person of the Year misses out on a true hero

By Thaddeus Chatto

I’m always giddy around this time of the year. Not only is the semester almost finished, but also winter break is almost here, and that means lounging around at home for about a month watching whatever is on television or Netflix. 

But the end of the year also brings about one more thing I am excited for: TIME’s Person of the Year. 

Every year, the editors at TIME select an individual that they believe “most influenced the news this year, for good or bad.” 

This year, TIME has chosen Pope Francis as its 2013 Person of the Year. 

Nancy Gibbs, TIME’s managing editor, makes a persuasive case for why the magazine chose him. She says, “He has not changed the words, but he’s changed the music” of the Catholic Church. She goes on to emphasize that both individuals who belong to the Church and even those who don’t, are listening to Pope Francis and taking lessons from his humbleness. 

He’s a suitable choice, fulfilling the criteria for what it takes to be TIME’s Person of the Year. And so was President Barack Obama, who gained the title in 2012 for being re-elected and establishing himself as a leader for change in the United States.

If I was TIME’s managing editor, you’d see an entirely revamped Person of the Year: The men and woman of the “Avengers” for saving New York City and the world from the evil Loki of Asgard, possibly even the vigilante known as Batman for protecting the millions of lives in Gotham City from the masked terrorist known only as Bane.

But, again, that’s just me.

This year, I know of only a few other individuals that could even compete with Pope Francis and his impact on the world. His name is Miles Scott of San Francisco. 

Or, should I call him by his other name, Batkid. 

Back in November, the city of San Francisco teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization dedicated to “granting the wish” of children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses, to make a 5-year-old’s dream come true. 

Miles Scott is a 5-year-old whose leukemia is currently in remission. He spent all of Nov. 15 fighting crime in his own personalized “Gotham City.” 

Many Make-A-Wish volunteers and the residents of the San Francisco area helped create the magic for Miles and did their best to make him feel as if he really was the tiny cape crusader. 

Make-A-Wish put this dream together, but Batkid was the real hero that day. 

Batkid had his own Batmobile, his little brother was dressed up like Robin and even had villains, such as the Riddler and Penguin, to fight in Gotham City. He did this while the “people of Gotham City” watched and cheered. 

Batkid’s impact is not on the scale of the other candidates for Person of the Year such as the pope, Edward Snowden, Barack Obama and even Miley Cyrus. 

The Person of the Year is generally someone that has been headlined or talked about constantly throughout the media. 

Batkid wasn’t even a candidate to the TIME editors because of his relatively small exposure on the news. But I think he should have at least been considered. 

His impact was on a different level. He didn’t garner as much news as the other candidates, but he showed us a great deal in the news coverage he did receive. 

Batkid was the hero of that day, and Miles Scott’s dream of being a superhero came true. Batkid showed the world what it means to stand up to evil. He showed the world that even if there is evil out there, that evil could be defeated. 

As Batkid, he gave us an example of what it takes to stand up to a foe that is stronger and bigger. When the chips are down and the odds are not in his favor, he persevered and never gave up. 

As Miles Scott, he stood up and fought against leukemia. As Batkid, he stood up and fought the Penguin and the Riddler. These two features were accomplished at the age of five.   

If that’s not a superhero, then I don’t know what it is. And it’s about time superheroes got more recognition.

Thaddeus is a senior in LAS. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Thaddingham.