The Superman Egbe is a group consisting of Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen for the most part. Whenever one of them is in trouble Superman comes along and saves the day. With this kind of support, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen have the support they need to push further and harder to uncover the story, get the photograph, and scoop the other information gatherers in their comic book world. Just knowing he is part of an egbe keeps Superman going. And believe it or not, although they may be far weaker and without the ability to fly, there are times when the other members of Superman’s egbe have done things to save him. Despite the obvious extreme differences in strengths and abilities everybody has their job to do. And there will be different times when different people will be the most essential in getting the job at hand done.
With this in mind the Superman Egbe consist of a group of equals. Well, to a certain extent. Jimmy Olsen is supposed to be an extremely young adult. If I had to make an educated guess I’d say that Jimmy Olsen just graduated from high school and instead of trying to go to college decided to do his thing as one of the Daily Planet’s army of paparazzi. As older and more experienced adults it would be understandable if Ms. Lane and Mr. Kent would consider Mr. Olsen a more junior member of their trio rather than a full fledged adult. But even with this in mind his opinion, capabilities, and contribution to the egbe are to be respected.
It is second nature for people who work as part of a collective to dismiss other members that they feel are not worthy of recognition or equal status. Most collectives of people are quick to setup hierarchies that are dismissive towards members judged to be insignificant and easily expendable while members deemed more important to the group’s welfare are protected and valued. Of course it is the valued members that are deciding who the other valued members are to be allowed into their sub egbe. Usually the members of the exclusive egbe are careful to include future members that are most likely to toe the line and protect the status quo rather than do anything to change the tradition that allows the perpetual subjugation of the commoners.
Almost any group of people that organizes will undoubtedly establish a hierarchy of significance that will have a structure like a wayward iceberg. To many people the only part of an iceberg that is worth noting is the part high enough to extend itself over the water. Like the iceberg an organization will have only a small percentage of members that can actually be noticed above the majority. This structure allows the leaders to serve as the head of a body with many parts. Unfortunately, too many leaders don’t want to value the contributions of other members as much as they value their own. Under this complex arrangement of value and reciprocal compensation to recognize everyone as equally significant is to recognize everyone as equally valuable. Exclusivity and hierarchy would be lost with such an arrangement.
By all rights, if the Superman Egbe was to follow the normal model of human behavior then the only person who would matter would be Superman or Clark Kent. His abilities far out weigh Lois Lane’s and Jimmy Olsen’s talents combined. Following the standard model of collective behavior, if Jimmy Olsen was to be kidnapped or Lois Lane was to fall from a building as each is prone to do, Superman would simply think that they are expendable and easily replaceable. Why should Superman bother to even waste his energy trying to save them?
The members of the Superman Egbe are more apt to follow the credo of the Three Musketeers. All for one and one for all is the philosophy of a people who care for each other as well as they care for the group as a unit. There is no distinction in seniority or talent or experience or gender or skin color or anything else for that matter. Everyone has some potential to do something better than someone else. But too often people are looking for some reason to judge him or her self better or more deserving than others. People are quick to fall susceptible to some form of the superiority complex. We can feel better about ourselves when we can feel that the next guy is inferior.
But our self worth to the group does not depend on someone else’s worthlessness. Our self worth doesn’t even require us to be valued by our collective. Our self worth is a product of our existence. The collective that doesn’t value its members equally doesn’t deserve its members. People who allow themselves to be ruled by people simply because they want to fit into the group need to wake up and realize that it may be better to be alone than deal with the weight of supporting all that hierarchy. Not all of us can lift as much weight of Superman.