I finished a re-watch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer this week and Buffy Summer's character impressed me more than ever before. I've been a Buffy fan for as long as I can remember, but I never did love Buffy all that much. It's not that I've ever disliked her, but she never stood out for me among the other personalities (Willow, Giles, and Spike are definitely my favourite characters).
I saw the progression in Buffy's character this time around. Watching the series in a short amount of time allowed me to see character development happen quickly, rather than the typical slow change. I can still clearly remember the Buffy of Season 1, and yet the Buffy of Season 7 is so much wiser and stronger.
Buffy saves the world. She doesn't necessarily want to, but she takes her calling seriously and does everything she can for those she loves and those she doesn't know. She has obvious physical strength, but she's also emotionally strong. She endures heartbreak and grief, failed friendships, real-life struggles - the things every woman or man goes through in his/her life - and so much more.
There are times when Buffy is an open book and other times when she's completely closed off from the world. You can watch half of a season without knowing what she is thinking. Still, Buffy Summers is an inspiration. You'd be silly to not aspire to her amount of strength and love and wisdom.
She accepts her calling as the vampire slayer and makes it work. It's not a title she wants - and it causes her more problems in life than helps her out - but she does it because she has to. She's the chosen one because she's strong enough to handle it. Buffy represents women everywhere. Joss Whedon writes her character in a way that moves her beyond the world of vampires and demons. The weight of the world is placed on her shoulders in the same way that people everywhere, every day, deal with the stress and struggle of daily life.
"There's only one thing I've ever been sure of. You." - Spike, talking about Buffy's strength