The whole concept of heroes has always been a weird one for me. Even as a young girl, I (somehow)had the insight that putting humans on a pedestal was foolhardy given the fact they are humans and therefore full of flaws like the rest of us.
But this isn’t how the world operates, especially in the United States. Normal people are considered superheroes because of the professions they’ve chosen, the team they play for, or the faces they were born with.
And it’s mind-boggling.
Fans openly revere them, praise and buy all they’re associated with, fall over themselves to take a picture at their side — without receiving anything in return.
What’s even worse is the fall from grace that so many celebs endure much to the total heartache or surprise of their fans. Such as Marilyn Manson, whose fans are likely backpedaling pretty quick — or I hope they are. Btw, EVERYONE should have seen that coming. Or the most recent NFL player (who can keep count at this point?) who just beat the crap out of his girlfriend before returning to enjoy his meal.
And all you have to do is a quick search of Medium articles to pull up tons of articles outlining how some supposed special person isn’t so special at all.
Why is this a thing? Why would we ever give anyone that much power or control in our lives when we’ve never met them and only know what they give us?
Even during the worst throes of 2020, we saw little to nothing from celebs and famous folks (who make millions from our adoration) step forward or save the day because they were hiding away in their homes. Just like us.
There are no saviors — not in Hollywood, not in sports or politics or even religion. And if 2020 didn’t spill the beans then I don’t know what could.
Instead we saw everyday people dig deep into their depths and show up for us every day — on the medical lines, in the grocery stores, when delivering our packages — all putting their lives at risk.
Real “hereos”, if you ask me.
But this proverbial worship of people has got to stop. No one is perfect.
We all came into this lifetime for a reason, with a purpose. To learn the lessons we chose. To experience the themes we chose. None are better than another.
In one life, a man chooses to experience the theme of independence and becomes a plumber who owns his own business. In another, a girl chooses to experience being seen and becomes a singer. They are equal in every way.
Yes, I think it’s fantastic to give credit to those who have worked hard to get to where they are. But do we give the same esteem to single mothers as we do movie “stars”? Do we revere the teachers who continue to show up regardless of how awful they’re paid as much as professional athletes?
Are the people in a movie really any better? Or someone who’s written a well-known book? Or someone who speaks in front of thousands of people?
Who’s to say? Least of all me.
But what I do want to say is that whether it’s the plumber or the mega-millionaire CEO, putting anyone on a pedestal is a recipe for disaster.
NO ONE deserves that much accoloade from us because they are human and humans are devastatingly flawed. For every bit of sunshine, the clouds can rain down fiery thunder. For every bit of good, havoc can ensue.
Our friends will fail us. Our lovers will hurt us. Our children will fall short. Our family will break us. Our bosses and coworkers will betray us.
Not because anyone wants to. Not because anyone is bad. But because everyone is a human and therefore highly capable of screwing shit up.
Let’s give each other some grace.
And let’s take down the famous folks from their pedestals.
After all, they’re just like us.