By Benescke Janse van Rensburg
For some young children, the fascination with the fictional superhero, Superman, lasts only a season. This however was not the case for the 35-year-old designer, Herbert Chavez of the Philippines. Since he first saw the movie ‘Superman’ in the 1980’s, starring actor Christopher Reeve in the lead role, Herbert started collecting memorabilia of this character.

His love and fascination with Superman went to a next level when Herbert, a decade ago, began going for intense plastic surgery (including cutting his nose and chin and receiving injections for whitening his skin) in order to make him look more like Reeve. He also received silicone injections for fuller lips and thigh implants for a more muscular look.

Herbert, himself a dress designer in the town of Calamba in the Philippines, made himself a Superman suit in which he walks around in town. His neighbours said he does not bother them, but rather create a good opportunity for them to teach their children to not try and be someone else, but rather be their own unique self.

This story may sound absurd, but how many times have you (perhaps unconsciously) compared yourself with someone else – who is prettier than you, has more money than you, whose children are better at school or sport or who seems to be more popular in the work environment than you? And how many times have you started to sacrifice your own uniqueness by trying to be more like “that” person?

Listen again to the words in Psalm 139:16-18: Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.”

When we lose our uniqueness by trying to be like someone else, we are walking away from God’s unique plan for our lives. So before you feel inferior when you encounter that pretty or rich friend, your popular colleague or the couple with the smart, sporty children, remind yourself that they can go to the ends of the earth, but they will never possess the unique potential that God specifically gave you to make a difference in the world.

Let us therefore seize every opportunity today – and every day this year – to make God proud by being ourselves. Remember, a second version of someone else is never as attractive as a unique version of yourself! God bless.

Father God, thank you for creating me uniquely. Help me to not compare myself with others and miss what You have planned for me. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
** Benescke Janse van Rensburg is a motivational speaker, freelance journalist and author of the books, Ontdek God in die stories van mense and also Wysheid, oordenkings uit Spreuke.