If you had to pick a superhero as a role model who would you choose?
If you chose Superman you might be setting yourself up for failure and tremendous disappointment.
Why might you be tempted to choose Superman as your idol? Well, he is perfect. He is all-powerful, all knowing, always wins and always does the right thing. If that is your standard you will always feel inadequate. How can you hope to compare?
Superman is the strongest guy on the planet – maybe even this side of the galaxy. Comparing yourself to Superman is like comparing your net worth to Bill Gates and wondering where you went wrong. It is just not worth the pain.
Superman is invulnerable. Nothing, with the exception of the rare element, Kryptonite can hurt him. It’s not fair. All kinds of things can hurt the rest of us. And I’m not just talking about bullets, bombs and missiles. Falling down the stairs can put you in traction for weeks. Fender benders can send us to the hospital. My buddy is allergic to bee stings. Even peanut allergies can kill some people.
Superman never gets sick. No common cold for him. He wears glasses in his secret identity as ClarkKent. But he doesn’t need them. He’s never had the mumps or measles. No embarrassing pimples for Superboy. You will never hear of Superman suffering from diabetes or cancer. It’s just not fair.
Superman can fly. I wish I could fly. But flying scares the heck out of me. I’m not sure how I would handle it. Again I lose. Damm that Superman.
Superman can see through things with his x-ray vision. Just imagine how that power might have helped you write your school exams or avoid buying that lemon of a car.
Superman has super hearing. If you could hear what other people are saying you would know the right price to offer, the magic words to say and the perfect card to play.
Superman has incredible endurance. The guy doesn’t tire. He can fly around the world or run around the world within minutes. I remember how many hours it took and how much it hurt to run my marathon. It’s just not fair.
Superman has a few enemies and some people who hate him. But he knows who they are and he is capable of dealing with them – physically, mentally and emotionally. My enemies are few, and people who hate me are few – but many people who don’t even know me seem to be out to destroy me mostly through their ignorance. I am powerless to ferret them out. And when I discover them they don’t seem to tremble at my might. Not fair.
The Fortress of Solitude. I want one. How do I get one? And what realty taxes does Superman pay for that prime real estate?
How did Superman become super? Easy. He was born on another planet.
What kind of message is that to send to our children? You could be perfect if only you were born on another planet. You were born on Earth so you don’t have a chance at greatness. Talk about being born with a platinum spoon in your mouth – like Ken Thompson or Donald Trump. Sure they both made some millions – they both started with millions. I know people who started with nothing and still have nothing. That makes them even.
So is Superman a real hero? No, he is a fantasy. I love Superman – the imaginary hero. But he is not my role model. I know better.
Superman is too perfect. Superman is too close to – dare I say – God. How can you model yourself against God? The Greek, Roman and Norse gods showed human flaws. It’s a lot easier to identify with them than with Superman.
Superman is a wonderful comic book superhero but a lousy role model. I think that Batman is the better “superhero” to choose as your role model. He has no god-given powers, only discipline, determination and skills. He turned a tragedy into his good-doing. That is a true hero and a better role model.
When you are looking for superhero inspiration, look to Batman instead of Superman.
© George Torok has no super powers. He is a professional speaker who was a shy student. He learned, developed and honed his presentation skills to superior ability. He coaches and trains business leaders to deliver million dollar presentations. Visit http://www.Torok.com to learn about his programs. Call 905-335-1997 to arrange a speech or training program.