February 16, 2006

Idolatry

Have you ever seen an idol falter or be less perfect than you imagined? Someone you looked up to for years. Someone that showed you who you wanted to be in your life? Suddenly, one day, you come to the realization that that person doesn't sit at the alter of perfection as you'd imagined, but rather the alter of regular? They have regular problems. Regular issues. They aren't quite so golden as you thought.

Perhaps the revelation came tempered over a good deal of time. It sneaked up on you. When you least expected it, it smacked you in the head with a cast iron skillet like you'd see in a cartoon or even a television show. One day, you just realized that your hero was flesh and blood. That they bled like a normal person. That they were fallible just like everyone else. That they didn't respect you as you hoped they would.

Does it matter in the end? Is that idol any less in your mind for having been revealed as a fragile entity that resembles your own vision? Do you still look up to them anyway?

11 Comments:

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Schuyler said...

For my Dad's funeral, my brother in law (minister who performed the service) asked me and my sisters for any thoughts we wanted included in his remarks. Mine were quite simple.

When I was a kid, my Dad was Superman. He could do no wrong.
When I was a teenager, my Dad was an idiot. He could do nothing right.
When I was about 20 or so, I realized my Dad was just a normal, person. He experienced all sorts of trials and tribulations. Some were overcome with ease, while others weren't. But he did the best he could and in doing so, taught me and my sisters how to be an adult.

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Still Searching... said...

I always thought my Dad was so strong. The guy that could do anything and would always be there. He had a heart attack and seeing him in the hospital brought it home to me that he's just like every other man, and that he won't be here forever. It came as quite a shock to me that my Dad could look so worn and weak. He's much better now but that image sticks with me. I don't know if that's a good thing or not...

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger Annalis said...

When I realized my "idol" was human. I was saddened and disappointed. After time, or I grew up, I realized that these failings were made with a purpose that I may never fully comprehend. In the end my "idol" earned my respect all over again. Thankfully.

 
At 11:56 PM, Blogger Frank said...

SUPERMAN!!!

 
At 10:53 AM, Blogger Buffalo said...

I've had two Tae Kwon Do instructors, both of whom I admired greatly, that were dealing drugs. That revelation caused me to walk away. They had violated a very basic tenet of their spoken philosophy.

Idols usually have clay feet. The composition of the clay determines my actions and feelings.

 
At 9:52 PM, Blogger 'nilla said...

"That they didn't respect you as you hoped they would. "

that really struck a nerve.

He didn't respect me enough to ...he just didn't.

 
At 6:02 PM, Blogger LyZa said...

usually they disappoint us.

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Parker said...

I look up to mine anyway -- I think he has earned it.

 
At 5:37 PM, Blogger HannoverFist said...

I'll have to chime in with the whole "My Dad" thing. Someone I use to perceive to have a quiet strength of will - peacefully compassionate - patiently caring - wise and insightful - unfalteringly steady.

Over time I've come to learn that this "steadiness", this "quiet strngth", was acutally stark frozen paranoia. What I thought was patience, was really fear of confrontation. The peacefully compassionate exterior, over time, has revealed a silently judgemental person.

Our lives have come to a place where his generally omipresent fear and pesimism cannot exist in the backgrownd anymore. Now I wonder what my childhood, and who I am now, could have been like had things been a little different

 
At 1:37 PM, Blogger Lil Bit said...

Very interesting post.
Something like that happened w/my oldest sister... and no, I don't look up to as much anymore. *sigh*

 
At 2:12 PM, Blogger Maggi-nifica said...

idol n. An image used as an object of worship. A false god.
One that is adored, often blindly or excessively. Something visible but without substance.

superman n 1: a person with great powers and abilities [syn: demigod, Ubermensch] 2: street name for lysergic acid diethylamide

 

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