Role models- many of us have them. People we look up to. Have you ever reflected on what it truly is that you admire about them?
Our inclination to find leaders and teachers comes from the time when we were little and impressionable and our parents told us how to behave in order to secure our place in the world and find “success.”
This has created an attitude of “looking up” – and so we have become used to thinking there is always someone better than us. While it is perfectly natural behavior to seek out sources of inspiration in order to advance oneself, the imitation game is definitely not.
Idolization has quietly become a very much accepted cultural phenomenon, striping people of their self identity and slowly degrading them to a general average norm. Entire groups of people desire to become someone else- not just be like that but become them. Or they give themself to worshiping their idol.
And this is where the heartache sets in: When people fall for other people because they see them as greater than themselves, they lose the ability to learn something about themselves from that person because they are blinded by the desire to be them. This is by no means the fault of the idol but of those who project their idolization upon them.
But what is this teaching that an idol or role model brings into the world? Nothing but the subject of all my writing: Human Value. Every single idol is nothing but a person that is relentless in the sharing of their value. Their teaching is not “be me” but “be like me.” Every true leader is here to inspire in us the trust and confidence to find a great leader within ourselves.
Every great persona is not here to force us into their shoes, but to fill our own shoes. I hesitate to bring up religion but it must be said- the idea of Jesus is one that has separated the world for ages. Was he here to teach us about ourselves or to submit us to his supremacy? The former activates our self-ownership (if he created us in his image, that means we too are great), the latter denies it.
I kindly ask you to do a little early spring cleaning and clean out your “idol closet”: Who have you let in there and for what reason? Do you aspire to be them, or are you genuinely inspired by their example to tap into your own self? Inside-out or Outside-in?
Maybe it’s time to let some of your idols or role models go.