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Eclectic Thoughts from a Homeschool Mom » When Heroes become Mortals

When Heroes become Mortals

September 9th, 2008

Pete Rose. Michael Vick. Tonya Harding. O.J. Simpson. Richard Nixon. Bill Clinton. River Phoenix. Jim Bakker. What happens when someone you admire falls off of the “highly regarded pedestal”? We go about our lives looking up to individuals that seem to have it all together. They might be: a pastor, a politician, a musician, an artist, an athlete, a movie star, a friend, or a family member. We admire their strength. We admire their dedication. We admire their unwavering convictions.

Then, the unthinkable happens. They fall off of that pedestal that we have set them on. We are ashamed. We are hurt. We are angry as hell. They have become a mere mortal. They may have: lied, cheated, stolen, completely abandoned their ethics, committed adultery, or even committed murder. What went wrong? Didn’t they realize that we looked up to them? Didn’t they realize that we aspired to be like them?

On a pedestalI wonder if the pressure is too much as a hero. It must be difficult to be looked up to. They are put into a class of their own. In order to be a hero, the populace expects: honesty, integrity, ceaseless dedication, and loyalty. Maybe being a hero/mentor/leader is too much for some. It is a big responsibility.

One of my heroes fell from the pedestal recently. Although I still love this person, my feelings for them have changed. My feelings have changed forever. They have lost my trust – something that is very hard to regain. I see this former hero as a confused, scared individual. I thought life had given them all the answers, only to find out that they are more lost then I am.

I guess that is the fault in putting someone on a pedestal. Eventually, they will show that the temptation to be mortal is just too great. When we put too much confidence in an individual, it is inevitable that they will fail. Then, we lose our faith. We wonder if anyone is good and pure. We wonder if anyone that we admire is worthy of our admiration. Of course, we always seem to find someone else to replace our fallen heroes. It really is a vicious cycle.

I think that finding a hero/mentor/leader comes from within. Looking to others for moral inspiration can lead to a doubt in humanity and cynicism. We all know how we are supposed to treat others and live our lives. Happiness comes from within – not from a baseball player or rock star. This last week has taught me that no one has the answers.

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