Clark never thought of himself as a hero. He never thought, "Hey, if I can save someone from a speeding bullet or burning building, shouldn't I get something for that?"
A lot of people would WANT to be famous for it, if they had Clark's…skills. They'd want to be seen. But Clark had been raised by smart people. He'd been taught to think wisely about things. And to not show himself as something he WASN'T-and he was NOT a freak or a high ego superhero. His mother and father never told him that he COULDN'T do something, they only advised him about what he SHOULDN'T do. Because, in all truth, he could probably rule our world if he wanted that. But he never did. He knew he shouldn't go tell reporters he was a super-powered alien. He knew he shouldn't do something like grant a second chance or save a life to get admiration or glory.
When it comes down to it, he was probably like that because he wasn't RAISED as a different kind, or a higher kind, or any kind of alien to the world. He was brought up like a human. And so, naturally, he WANTED to be human. He wanted to be a part of the people and world he loved. Deep down, he knew he wasn't ever going to be like them. Not in most senses-because in the sense of human's depth for compassion and love and making mistakes, he was more like his family than most-but he could be BETTER. After a while he didn't see a way to fit in as a human, as an everyday guy, because he could never get himself to even FEEL human-physically he felt a power and a strength in his veins that humans couldn't survive. But he saw something else. Something only a few can understand.
He saw the WORLD as a whole, he saw the beauty and heard the crying, and ached the pain they felt. And he realized he felt all of it because he felt responsible. Not responsible in the way like it was his fault-even though Clark Kent has a tendency to self-deprecate- Responsible for it in the way like, if he was the only one that COULD save them, help them, then the job fell into his right and duty. He was accountable for the Earth, because he chose to be a part of it. Because many people think that a savior of a world OWNS that world, but to the good ones, they don't desire to own it, they just want to help. Because to the good ones, they're not the ruler, they're just a part of the world.
And even when he's found a place for him to fit, to work, he still feels the empty echo in his heart. The one that tells his mind that he still doesn't belong. To love something you're left out of by nature hurts. It helps him to numb that pain, but it doesn't leave. He had felt this way ever since he accepted who he was. When he was young, he tried to fight it. He tried to convince himself he wasn't special. He never, ever wanted to be. But a hero can't become a hero until they accept that they aren't like anyone else and that they HAVE a destiny, one that can't be changed. He accepted it a long time ago, but he never really wanted it. And that's the thing.
A hero is someone who willingly takes up their role in the world, even when they don't want to. A hero is someone who does right because it's right, even when it's hard. A hero is someone who gives up themselves because they know they have to, and they think more of those they're saving than of themselves.
A hero is the person who goes into a fight to save their people, knowing they're going to die. A hero is one who feels blessed and cursed by their ability-blessed to be chosen to help what he loved, and cursed to know he's never a FULL part of it. A flying man in cape. A martyr. A soldier who never gives up. A father who takes all for his family. A savior. They're all heroes. Different kinds, and this is the Clark kind. The Superman kind.
When a human would blame a murderer for the death of a loved one, Clark Kent would blame himself for not being there in time. Even if it wasn't his loved one.
When someone was calling for help, Clark would drop his life and run to them.
If a friend asked for a favor when he was sad or had other things to do, he wouldn't hesitate.
If the human race screamed for a hero, he would save them all and be back in time for movie night with Lois.
Because Clark Kent is the hero of the humans.