Quiz: Mulder and Scully vs. Lois and Clark in an easter egg hunt in Mordor. Who finds the most?


Fathers and Sons

Fathers and sons will butt heads, hold their ground, and in the end gain nothing. True strength is having the confidence in yourself to have humility. I learned that from Smallville.

Early in his high school years, Clark Kent had a couple rough patches with his father. It was typical father-son problems—which is strange considering how atypical Clark was. But fathers love their sons; they’re proud of them when they do good things and happy just when they wake up in the morning. And with a little humility, a little repentance, the problems of even a Superman and his dad can get resolved.

A father-son fight seem like a simple exercise in letting go. But in the thick of it, that’s not what it looks like. Not ever. In the middle, it’s like you’re facing off with a bull. Clark had made a rather unconventional choice by befriending local tycoon and shady businessman, Lex Luthor. Clark’s father, Jonathan, had never trusted the Luthors and considered Clark’s friendship with Lex at least foolhardy and at most downright dangerous. When Jonathon found out Lex had been secretly investigating the Kents—and to make matters worse, found out that Clark had known and not told him—Jonathan was understandably angry. When he confronted Clark, the teenaged Superman uncharacteristically lashed out at his dad with the whole “I’m not a kid anymore” argument. Yeah, that one’s a classic.

So this is how it started. And in arguments, everything is always backwards. An argument seems like it’s about the thing it’s about, but arguments are never about what they’re about. Arguments are about a relationship. The next day, Clark talked to his mother.

“You two need to work this out,” she said.

“We will. First we’ll have a week of uncomfortable silence, and then we’ll start talking about something trivial, and then we’ll move on.”

And once again, the mess gets swept under the proverbial rug. You can never turn that rug over—it’s so disgusting under there, full of scars and still festering wounds. Grudges held on to for dear life.

But in the end, it’s the holding on that takes the living out of life. Lex’s father, Lionel, never let go of the deaths of his wife and younger son, Julian. And in the end, it destroyed not just his relationship with Lex, but kept Lex from becoming the good man he could have been.

That’s what Lex told Clark when he came to his friend for advice. And that’s how Clark found the courage to face the truth: that his relationship with his father was more important than “winning the argument.” And certainly the relationship was too important to be damaged by simply letting the wound fester. Both Jonathan and Clark had to be Superman—to themselves. Both had to face the truth and let go of the fight.

In the end, the relationship is the only thing that’s real. The argument is rhetoric; the relationship is life. And letting go is the only way it ever really works.

That’s when we finally, truly, see who we are and can embrace it with humility. Letting go.

Unless you’re holding up a space plane full of people from crashing into Metropolis. Holding on, in that case, is advised.