Clark Kent is a mild-mannered reporter for the ?Daily Planet? newspaper. Born and raised in Smallville, Kansas; he now lives alone in an apartment in downtown Metropolis. He fits the mold of the stereotypical business man in any bustling city of commerce. With his suit, briefcase, and cellular phone, he can?t blend in more thoroughly, but who am I kidding? Underneath that tailored suit lies another person with a big ?S? on his chest. Who knew that this mild-mannered reporter is faster than a speeding bullet and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? They call him ?The Man of Steel?. He is Superman. He can fly, has x-ray vision, heat ray vision, and bullets bounce right off him. You don?t get any more unique than the man in the red and blue.
So then who is Clark Kent? Where does he fit in? He?s the secret-identity of the Man of Steel. What of his true identity? That identity which is known for his courage. His nobility. His pursuit of justice and his never-ending battle against evil. The chiseled chin, the vibrant ?S? that strikes fear in the hearts of criminals. Underneath those glasses and that gray suit lies his true identity.
Though an alien from Krypton, Superman exhibits human behavior. He is hiding his true self. We all keep our true feelings inside at one time or another, some of us more than others. Like Superman, we hide under a false identity. We live our lives based upon the characteristics that we are, or would like to be known for. Often we feel we have to mask our true identity from society. We hide our feelings, our thoughts, our true passions, so as not violate the norms that we, as a society, create out of fear. The fear of not being ?normal? by expressing our true feelings. As a result, many of us keep our true selves behind a secret-identity, behind a typical lifestyle and typical characteristics.
But there are people that know of Clark Kent?s true identity. His parents. His wife. Those that he trusts the most know him the most. These few people that know Clark?s secret, are the same people that keep his life together. It is to these people that Superman can open himself up to. He can vent his frustration and concerns without the fear of embarrassment. Close friends that we can trust are not just necessary for Superman, but everyone.
We all need close friends to open to. We go through life day by day, passing face after face, mask after mask. We all must remove our masks at one time or another, or risk the greatest tragedy of all: The loss of true identity. If we live everyday with our mask on one day, we?ll forget that we?re wearing it. And soon our mask will become a part of us. And our true identity will be forever lost. We live in a world where the pursuit of individuality has ironically become the norm for us all. Our only hope for saving our identity is to continually open ourselves up and live not based upon the set of characteristics that we are known for, but based upon the characteristics that we are made up of.