When you think of Superman, what comes to mind?
For me, this image is burrowed in my head.
Classy hero, am I right?
He’s brave. He’s humble. He’s patient. He’s noble. He’s helpful. He’s basically a perfect hero.
He reminds us of our potential.
He gives us hope.
And what is his biggest weakness?
No. It’s not kryptonite. That’s too easy.
Kryptonite is basically a lazy way for writers to find a way to make him look like he has a chance to lose. There’s nothing special about it. None of us gets magically weakened by rocks.
His weakness is far more human than some green rock.
That’s not why we relate to him. No, his weakness is far more substantive.
In “Superman: The Movie,” he lost his temper.
Why? Because Lois Lane died. He let his emotions get the best of him. He spun the earth backward on it’s axis to reverse time he was so angry. He cheated death for selfish reasons.
In “Superman III,” he gets really depressed and goes on a drinking binge.
Why? The pressure of humans relying on him got to be too much. He didn’t want to disappoint them. So, he did what any human would do and wallowed in self-pity for a while. And then, he acted out. Like many of us would. (Don’t ever watch this movie. You’ll thank me later.)
What if you had to choose between saving the world and saving the person you love?
When it comes time to choose, Superman is just like the rest of us. Imagine if Superman didn’t bottle all that up. Imagine if he shared his vulnerability and said what he really felt. It’d probably sound like this:
It’s his humanity that is his greatest weakness.
But, you know what?
It is also his greatest strength.
“I grew up in the era where Clark Kent still couldn’t tell Lois Lane how he felt about her. I liked that era. I liked that I could find an equality in our inability to tell those we love how deeply we feel for them …
it made me feel that I was somehow on par with Superman… I liked the idea that Clark Kent might be scared of rejection…
I have no delusions about being anyone’s Superman … it’s always terrifying to put your heart out there… There’s never any guarantee that your heart will be accepted … let alone returned in working order,
but I’ll risk the hurt for the right person and I’m hoping I’ve found her.
Don’t let rejection be your kryptonite. Grab your courage and say something.
Everyone has been, or will be, in that same position at some point. Risk the hurt. Find them.