Superman: The Benevolent Alien

What if you had the power to crush someone with your bare hands, because they made you angry? What if you could melt that car that just cut you off in traffic with your heat vision? If you had super powers, like Superman, how would you use them?

If you could have all of the powers Superman has would you be kind? I think some of us might be tempted to use our power selfishly. Thankfully, Superman is a kind and courteous character that doesn’t act on emotions the way someone else might if they had his abilities. We can’t attain Superman’s amazing powers, but we can follow his example and be kind. What does it take to be kind?

Kindness Comes from Confidence

Having studied martial arts for over 27 years I am always amazed that the most accomplished martial artists are the most humble and courteous. It would seem to be the opposite, but that isn’t the case. I have met champion competitors and grand masters, and all of them have been extremely kind. In stark contrast, I have met some people that were not nearly as accomplished that constantly wanted to show how tough they were. You may know some people like that yourself.

If you are confident in whom you are and in your abilities, you don’t fear as much. You are comfortable in strange situations and you handle difficulty better. Anger and aggression are signs of fear and often a lack of ability. If a person has to constantly explain why they are strong or tough it is probably because they aren’t. It is ironic, but it is the truth.

What makes Superman a hero is not what he does, it is what he doesn’t do. What if Superman decided to use his tremendous power to become the supreme ruler of the world? Who could stop him? The lesson from Superman is that it is his character, his kindness, and not his unearthly powers that make him a superhero. Abraham Lincoln has a great quote that illustrates it best,

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

— Abraham Lincoln

Kindness Exercises

If you are fearful or angry, then acting kind can bring you confidence. It is a two way street, and you can start as small as you want. Here are some suggestions to put you on the road to feeling, well, Super!

  • Give someone your umbrella when it is raining.
  • Volunteer for an hour or more for a charity doing anything that is needed.
  • Never send a message when you are angry. (Wait at least 24 hours)
  • In your personal interactions, do not meet anger with anger, meet it with patience.
  • Give smiles and kind words freely to anyone.
  • Give anonymously to someone who needs money.
  • Recognize a co-worker or friend for doing something that they consistently do for you and you appreciate.
  • Be patient with someone who is paying for something with change.
  • Help someone before they ask for it.
  • Let go of all grudges with a deep breath and a moment of silence.
  • Be grateful for the fact that you can wear awesome Superman compression shirts and leggings
  • Thank an old friend for being your friend, and thank a new one too.
  • Tell someone that looks nice, that they look nice today.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line.
  • Be nice to the person behind the counter.
  • Learn people’s names and use them.
  • Be respectful of all beliefs.
  • Speak less and smile more.

Are you feeling like putting on your Superman compression shirts and leggings and being super kind? Good! Do it now.

The Cycle of Kindness

Kindness is powerful. I remember when I was young and didn’t have enough money for bus fare. The driver told me I would have to get off at the next stop. A kind lady paid my fare. All she asked was that I do it for someone else someday. The day came years later when I paid for a young ladies’ lunch that was short a few dollars. If everyone helped everyone else we could all wear our Superman clothesproudly knowing that we are following his lead.

The positive emotions require a little effort at times. They require that we look beyond our own issues and problems and instead think of how we impact others. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the negativity that often surrounds us, but that is when we should follow Superman’s example: Be kind, be grateful and be gracious. These are all the signs of a superior being: A real superhero.

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