There used to be something in most of the RLSH Community a few years ago, from around 2007 to 2009, around the time I was the President of the Heroes Network. There was a real spirit of camaraderie there. I could try to explain it but you really had to be around there back then in order to really understand it. For the past year or so, I've felt it was very important for me to remind the RLSH Community about it, but it was hard to find the right words. I'll try anyway, though.
Back in the good old days, RLSH's got along with each other... sorta... There were some occasional arguments, but unlike now where things can get really messy, back then they were constructive arguments that got heated, and if they did lead to bitter disputes, they often got settled, as a community, like a family. And from then on for a while the community seemed happy again, and people understood each other and got along better than before. And more often, if there were any disagreements, RLSH's agreed to disagree. When ever there were arguments, people often agreed to forgive each other and make peace with each other, because they mostly understood how important it was for RLSH's to all be on good terms with each other.
This was before a lot of the media attention in this community. While there's a huge misconception nowadays that the success of an RLSH has to do with how famous and popular they are, and that all the media attention was good for the community in moving it forward, the truth is that these things have caused a lot of problems and actually moved it backwards.
Being an RLSH is not about public image, it's not about popularity. It's about befriending those who need friends, saving those who need saving, protecting those who need protecting, fighting evil.
That's not to say that all media attention is bad entirely. It can serve as a very effective networking tool, with people who need your help or wish to work with you. But, make sure it's for the right reasons. And understand that the more well known you are, the more problems it can cause you.
There were times when RLSH's would defend outcasts in the community. Nowadays they outcast the unusual people as weird, because they're worried that certain people are bad for the public image of the RLSH Community (It's not a Movement). That's also a harmful way of thinking. People who say things like that and think like that are the ones who (in my eyes) make themselves look bad.
You can't define the standards of a Real Life Superhero, especially since many of those who I've seen try to define it as a whole have got it (in my strong opinion) wrong. You can define the standards of certain cliques of people, and while it can serve it's purpose in some ways if it's within certain groups, it can't be spoken for as a whole. I've seen many good people feel outcasted by the in-crowds. When in-crowds try outcasting people, they're not just outcasting those people from their inner circles, they're outcasting their own selves from enacting heroic ideals. Especially in the eyes of those they're outcasting.
By trying to unite this community, people will only divide it further. In my opinion, the way it works best, is when people let everyone be themselves. Not conformity, but rather self-expression. Acceptance, not outcasting. Let people be themselves, not who you want them to be.
When the Spirit of Camaraderie existed in the RLSH Community, there was a good balance of seriousness and joking around. And that was accepted. Too much of one and not enough of the other is not good.
It used to feel like a family or like a loose network of individuals who had this evil-destroying Warrior Spirit about them. It felt like a real superhero community. Nowadays, it feels like the U.S. House of Representatives.
I say this with the hopes of my friends in the RLSH Community reading this and if they were around back then, I hope they remember this and allow the spirit of camaraderie to return back again. For those who weren't around back then, please bring it back.