“Every person can be a force for good, free to forge his own destiny.” – Man of Steel (2013)
What man or woman will you become? Contrary to popular belief, each of us is born into this world with a blank slate. Some of us are born into wealth, some born in the US, and some born with physical talents few will ever know. Some are born into harsher conditions. Some are born with physical ailments. But all are born with a clean slate for their future.
Those that know me understand my affinity for all things Superman since I could walk. His iconic status was the hero I always clung to and most wanted to be. You can ask my mom about the towel I used to pin around my neck as I “flew” through the house day after day, saving the world. So it was no surprise that in the six days since its release, I’ve been to see Man of Steel twice – and strongly considered a third trip.
Initially, it revolved around my desire to have super powers. As I grew, I was drawn more to his mission and ideals. He was all things good, embodying the light, and standing up to those that others would not or could not. There have always been other great heroes, but there is no one like the hero – Superman.
There’s something powerful in this hero’s journey. For those not in the know, realizing that their homeworld of Krypton was about to explode, Superman’s parents sent him to Earth to give their child a chance at life and to carry on the Kryptonian legacy. His ship crashed into Kansas, where he was discovered and raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent on their farm outside of Smallville, KS. As he grew older, Superman began to develop powers beyond belief. Flight, heat vision, x-ray vision, super strength, near invulnerability were just a few traits the Kryptonian survivor had. All the while, the Kents and their adopted son kept his abilities secret, allowing him the opportunity to one day choose what path he would take.
Would he use this god-like powers for good? Would he use them for evil? Or would he simply try to live a “normal” life and never utilize the gifts he’d been given because of fear of what others would think?
That is the core question at the base of Superman’s growth from boy to man. It’s the same question that overarches the journey you and I must take. We may not fly or save the world from aliens, but like the Man of Steel, we are each born with two things:
- Abilities unique to us and us alone
- A blank slate from which to carve our destiny
We are not born, predestined to a life of others’ choosing. We do not have to live day after day in monotony behind a desk. We are not predestined to living confined to the limits others would place on us. We do not have to stop simply because others cannot keep up. We each have the ability to “strive toward the light” no matter how many times we stumble and fall along the way – we get back up and continue to compete.
Our destiny is ours and ours alone to forge. It’s time to stop allowing others the power to tell us where we should go. It’s time to stop hiding the talents we are uniquely blessed with. Today is the day to embark on our own journey – forging the path before us that we desire.
Today is the day to compete.