SUPERMAN: LESSONS FROM HIS FATHERS

We are all who we are today because of our parents. Their presence or absence have shaped us to becoming the person that we are today in one way or another. The theme of parental guidance shaping our destiny is apparent in most comic book mythology but none more apparent than in the 2013 Man of Steel, Superman film.

We are all who we are today because of our parents. Their presence or absence have shaped us to becoming the person that we are today in one way or another. The theme of parental guidance shaping our destiny is apparent in most comic book mythology but none more apparent than in the 2013 Man of Steel, Superman film.

Superman/Clark Kent is a man who has two fathers. Jonathan Kent, his earthbound dad and Jor-El his Kryptonian father, and both men shaped him to becoming the hero that we all love today. There are many lessons we can learn from his two fathers. Whether you’re a parent, or hoping to be a parent one day, here are some good lessons we can all benefit from the two men who raised Superman:

 

1)    Sacrifice

Every parent has to make sacrifices to raise their children well. Both Jonathan Kent and Jor-El sacrificed their lives for their son. Jonathan spent his whole life protecting his son’s secret from the rest of the world. While he could have been tempted to abuse his son’s gift for his own personal gains, he was only interested in raising a good man. Jonathan was true to this ideal till his last breath on earth.

Jor-El, on the other hand, made sure his son’s safety to earth was guaranteed. For his son’s future, he was willing to sacrifice his own life. He was not upset that he had to give up so much for his son but he was honored and grateful that he could provide in such a way for his son.

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2)    Be present

Jonathan Kent was no Kryptonian, and had no superpowers but he was with Clark at all his pivotal moments in life. It’s really not about being perfect but about trying your best when it comes to raising your children.

A lot of times when Clark was vulnerable he would turn to Jonathan for comfort and a shoulder to lean on. At times that is all the difference between a superhero or a supervillain origin story. The people that loved or abandoned them when it was needed the most.
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3)    Passing on good values

What made Clark Kent a superhero was never his superpowers but the good values he carried with him. These values were taught by both his fathers. Jonathan taught him how to be humble, and patience by making him wait before revealing himself and abilities to the world. Jonathan’s emphasize was of good character before anything else.

“You’re not just anyone. One day you’re going to have to make a choice. You have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be. Whoever that man is, good character or bad, he’s going to change the world” –Jonathan Kent-

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Jor-El taught him that he should be confident in his abilities, and he should keep pushing his limits to find out what he’s really capable of.

“You’ve grown stronger here than I ever could have imagined. The only way to know how strong is to keep testing your limits” –Jor-EL-

Jor-El said this to his son who was already the most powerful being on  Earth and yet he told him to keep pushing harder! Hard work should always be celebrated.

 

4)    Choice

The greatest gift any parent can give their kids is the choice to choose their own path. One of Jor-El’s main motivation of sending his son to earth was so that he could make his own choice of who he wanted to be. Unlike in Krypton where every child’s role in society was predetermined by birth. Jor-El believes that a child should have the right to choose his own destiny.

“What if a child dreamed of becoming something other than what society had intended? What if a child aspired to something greater?”

 

5)    Unconditional love

Both fathers loved Clark unconditionally. Jor-El, even in death made sure he left a legacy for his son to benefit from and a pool of knowledge for him to learn about his origins.

Jonathan loved Clark despite him being different. It can be quite overwhelming when we find that someone is different from us. Especially if that someone is your own son. However, Jonathan accepted Clark as his son despite him being from another world.

This can be seen in this poignant scene from the film.

 

 

6)    Purpose

Giving Clark a sense of purpose was what kept him moving forward. Both his father’s taught him that to serve others is the greatest purpose one can carry in this world. Jonathan taught him that no good deed can be too small if it’s helping people. This can be seen as he was raised as a farmer and he continued this journey by going around the world, and doing odd jobs.

Jor-El taught his son that he could be the symbol of hope that every person on the planet could be a force for good.

His service towards others even in the smallest deeds, and his belief in the good in others is what lead him to become Superman.

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What do you think of these lessons from Superman’s two fathers? Anything else you think we can learn from these characters? Share your thoughts below.

 

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