Brodi Ashton: How Iron Man ripped off one of my quotes

Brodi Ashton

I got a tweet that said something to the effect of, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize it was your quote.”

And, because I don’t have much else to do these COVID-days, I decided to find out what this person was talking about and whether they should be sorry.

Here is the quote in question: “Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.”

Not half bad, right?

It is in the first book I ever wrote, “Everneath.” The character who said it was based on my actual high school English teacher, Mrs. Stone. My whole point was that you didn’t need any actual super powers to be a hero.

I knew it was used once as an ACT test prompt (I thought that was cool), but I didn’t know how far it had reached. At least until I got this tweet from a book-reading fan.

I searched the internets. Apparently none other than Iron Man, in a state of complete reflection said: “Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.”

The quote is all over the place. It is on T-shirts. On coffee mugs.

I found a Reddit thread discussing it. One person asked, “When did Iron Man say this?” Everyone on the thread answered: “Maybe it was in one of his movies.”

But it wasn’t. And there was another reader who verified it, giving me credit. Thank you.

Now in my own state of complete reflection, I’m not sure whether to be offended about others stealing my quote or to be honored that the quote is out there. That it means something to people. That it so easily sounds like something Iron Man would say.

Brodi Ashton is a New York Times best-selling author who lives in the Salt Lake City area. She’s also an occasional columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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