I’ve been contemplating this post for quite sometime. Mostly because of my fascination with male archetypes, a fellow bloggers post and some twitter conversations that I’ve been having lately. It began with a post called “Don’t Expect A Superman If You Won’t Be a Wonder Woman” a really good read. I had talked with @WarrenLiao and @ImageGranted on the style and clothing choices of Mr. Wayne and Mr. Kent. The question was asked who you would like to be and why. Then I begin to think about personality, lifestyle and began to wonder which one would I prefer. My choice? Clark.
What’s Your Choice?
You may laugh, but I’ll explain my reasons about why I think he’s a better choice. It’s not because of his Kryptonian heritage. I’ll go into that a little later. @QuentinMcCall tweeted on the virtues of a good woman bringing out the “Superman” in her man by giving her his encouraging support.
“A good woman will help transform a man from Clark Kent into Superman.”
“Most of us have Bruce Wayne tendencies and need to develop Clark Kent habits.”
I believe that for some or most of us we tend to gravitate toward Bruce Wayne, rather than Clark Kent. Why? Well, because he’s wealthy, successful, a ladies man, has impeccable taste in clothing, Heck, even Gorgio Armani advertised himself as being Bruce’s designer of choice.
Now I won’t knock the pull toward Mr. Wayne. There was a time when I really liked the enigmatic duality that he represents. I think that most guys would agree that he definitely has the swag, cool influence, power and sophistication that we’d like to attain. However, like most male archetypal heroes he comes with a slew of emotional baggage. His motivations and methods are questionable and he’s never truly attains any real happiness. We all know his story: Young, rich trust fund baby who witnesses his parents murder, searing him severely psychologically, causing him to become a vigilante who continues to punish those who prey on the weak or innocent. He lives two lives…one of luxury and one of guilt and anger that plays out each night he puts on that cowl. It’s a lonely existence. His relationships are filled with women that are either trophy’s for his arm, those who try to heal him, or a latex wearing, emotionally scarred sexpot with a penchant for stealing and men in bat suits. Not a good look. Ultimately, Bruce’s life to the outside looks perfect but, we know better.
Personally, I now gravitate toward Mr. Kent. Kal-El son of Jor-El but not because of his Sun induced, Kryptonian powers or his Christian origin overtones or even that perfect hair and cowlick that he’s famous for. It’s because of the unassuming power and meekness he posses as Clark Kent. I’ve always been fascinated with motive and intent. Bruce and Clark are perfect examples. Both are heroes, both had tragic pasts but each took a different route to their lives. Sure, Clark lives a life of duality but his reasons are completely different from Bruce’s and this plays out even when they interact with each other either as their caped or secret identities.
Clark’s a hero because he understands the proper use of Power, the balance view of Justice, he knows how to give and receive Love and is Wise enough to know when those qualities are out of sync. Bruce’s guilt and sense of powerlessness drives him to put on the cowl. Sure he has the cars, the parties, random women and cool gadgets, but his life is constantly filled with frustration, failed relationships and emptiness. In contrast, Clark lives a relatively simple life, with a good job and a stable relationship with a woman that sees something in him that drew her to in. Was it the hair? the chiseled pecs, arms and chest? Was it the physical power that he possesses? Possibly but not likely. If you are familiar with the timeline, you know that there was a time when Clark willingly gave up those powers to live a normal life with Lois. Turns out she loved him anyway. The powers were a bonus. Clark is by no means perfect, he struggles with his own issues. Yet, it doesn’t plague his life day-to-day like a millstone around his neck.
Now I’m not trying to get philosophical, but I believe that there is a lesson to be learned:
- We can’t run from our past, we can only make peace with it, learn from it and move on.
- . In everything there is choice. No matter what our background may be: wealthy or poor, disadvantaged or privileged, sordid or stable, we all can use that as a reason to justify our actions. If we have a tragic past will we squander that experience on destructive behavior or use it to help someone avoid making those same mistakes we may have made?
- Having money and wealth doesn’t make you happy, neither does having a regular 9 to 5. Having purpose does. Not just purpose centered around self, but purpose centered around helping others.
- Purpose needs to be motivated by pure intent. Purpose motivated by guilt, fear, greed, arrogance and self righteousness wont last and wont ultimately make a lasting impact on your life or the lives of others.
I admire Clark because of his meekness, his kindness and tenderness. He knows he can leap tall buildings in a single bound, fly faster than a speeding bullet, has unquestionable super human strength but his healthy self-esteem gives him the ability to not take it too seriously, to display those abilities only when absolutely necessary and to be ok with wearing those geeky glasses, play the awkward reporter and even be second fiddle to his alter ego so that he and Lois can have a life of purpose together. Can we do that? Do you have the strength not to be first, to display meekness, kindness and to put others before yourself?
”A man’s power is in his mental, emotional, mental & spiritual strength, the ability to refrain when necessary & act when called upon.” - TSG