What would you say Superman’s top character strength might be? Bravery? Fairness? Perseverance? I suspect the answer might be a little different actually.
I imagine that when you have the capabilities that Superman has – including the ability to fly, to tilt a planet off its axis, or to outrun a speeding bullet – there may be one particular character strength that you need to draw upon more than all the others. Prudence.
Prudence refers to the ability to make wise, cautious, far-sighted, goal-directed decisions. Prudence is closely linked to practical wisdom.
Clearly, Superman’s strength and abilities make him Super. But it is much to do with his prudence that makes him a Hero. Superman does not flagrantly or gratuitously deploy his powers. Rather, he is circumspect and judicious and, wherever possible, avoids collateral damage as he fights evil and saves the world.
As we develop reach, impact, and power in our own lives, our strength of prudence becomes increasingly important. It is our prudence that keeps us focussed on meaningful goals and allows us to make decisions aligned with what really matters to us in the long run.
[ps ‘Prudence‘ is unrelated in origin from the word ‘Prude‘ – a person who is excessively proper. ‘Prude‘ is, instead, derived from the latin ‘prud’ meaning good, brave or proud.]