Shawn Maxam says when we elevate men and women into gods then our judgement becomes clouded.
All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.
When did human beings become perfect? Incapable of doing no wrong. Of not making mistakes or bad choices. The disbelief in Joe Paterno’s flawed actions are only equal to the belief in his moral perfection. He was a legendary football coach, father figure to many of his players and a noted philanthropist. He was also loyal to his friend and colleague Jerry Sandusky to a fault. Loyal to the detriment of the young boys who became sexual abuse victims.
Both of these traits can exist in the same man. Our collective humanity has always consisted of contradictions and paradoxes. Greatness doesn’t immunize men and women from making colossal mistakes. The world would be a much more sane place if we allowed our heroes to be flawed. We shouldn’t elevate our parents, clergy leaders, elected officials and favorite celebrities to the status of deities. Remembering that our heroes are still human beings could help prevent such tragedies as the Sandusky case from happening.
We often project our own expectations of who would would like to be or who would hope to become onto the people we call our heroes. Thus if these heroes don’t live up to the standards we placed upon them then it reflects a failure of us. We can’t allow men and women to disappoint us because it would lead to disappointment in ourselves.
We have seen this elevation of men and women to the status of gods fail us time and time again. When will we learn the danger presented by expectations based upon people supposedly being infallible and perfect. This continued hero worship will contribute to the downfall of the best of our collective humanity. Please take a moment to reconsider who you make your gods and what impact this level of deification has on all of us.
Please share this with friends, enemies and temporary allies alike.
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Flickr image via Lel4nd