How to be more like Superman

I’m a misfit and always have been. I’ve always had a thing for communicating via t-shirt messages. During high school, I often wore shirts or buttons with messages like “I’m not from this planet” or “Why be normal?” In my senior year, I (along with a male student) was voted “most unique.” I knew back then like I know today that “unique” is often a nice way of saying “weird.” But that’s okay. Like I said, I’m a misfit and always have been. By the way, Merriam-Webster’s (online) Learner’s Dictionary defines misfit as:” a person who is different from other people and who does not seem to belong in a particular group or situation.” (I could go into the command to “be in the world but not of the world,” but there’s just not enough space!)

The other day, I was watching “Superman” (the original one with the only actor I’ll ever accept as the Man of Steel: Christopher Reeve), and I couldn’t help but to ponder all the deepness wrapped up in the concept of Superman hiding his greatness in the disguise of Clark Kent. Early in the movie, young Clark confides in his (adopted or “earthly”) father that it’s frustrating to know that he can do all of these amazing things but can’t tell anyone. His father says, “You were sent here for a purpose…and it wasn’t to play football.”

Here’s a kid who races trains for fun, and he just wants to be the star of the football team. Can we say low expectations? But maybe that’s a point for another post. The thing that stood out to me was the idea that Clark was sent to here for a purpose. Yes, we know that Jor-El (his biological or “heavenly” – as in space is in “the heavenlies”) father sent the infant Kal-El to Earth to escape death – and he chose Earth because its atmosphere was most like Krypton. However, once he spent time in his Fortress of Solitude and came to understand the depths of who he was, Superman’s presence impacted the world in a way they’d never seen before.

I’ve seen this movie numerous times, but I’d never truly pondered these ideas. So, here are a few nuggets that spoke to me:

  • You are here for a purpose, but you have to invest some time into discovering what that is. (Where is your Fortress of Solitude?)
  • Once you understand who you are and what your talents are, don’t hide them away. Share them with the world, the world needs what you have!
  • You were not meant to be like everyone else, so stop trying to fit in. Choose to be the unique you that you were created to be. Be like Superman, be a misfit!

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