It may appear odd and archaic but I do smile when I am lonesome at the foibles enacted by me since my childhood.  The sheer enormity of the oafish and awkward escapades and quests make me blush even at this ripe old age! To enumerate and anatomize each would be dreary and certainly embarrassing.  However, one soft spot recall repeatedly accosts me; the yearning and search for a role model, one standalone person with all the virtues of head and heart, a luminary whose deeds and actions would guide me in pursuit of my attainments at every stage of my life. It is perspicuous that our parents are our lifelong and permanent conscience keepers and they have been and continue to guide us. As teenagers and in adolescence our choice is as varied as the friends and acquaintances that we admire and heed. A part of our personality reforms and shapes us to face challenges ahead as we observe and emulate them; it is another narrative that their success comparatively falls short of our expectations.  The search for a role model possibly concludes as we accept our own limitations and strengths and learn to breathe and embrace them.

When we fall in love with someone or make a new friend, we sometimes see that person in a glowing light. Their good qualities dominate the foreground of our perception than their negative qualities. They just don’t seem to have any. This temporary state of grace is commonly known as putting someone on a pedestal. Often times we put spiritual leaders and our politicians on pedestals. We have all done this to someone at one time or another, and as long as we remember that no one is actually “perfect,” the pedestal phase of a relationship can be enjoyed for what it is-a phase. It’s when we actually believe our own projection that troubles arise.

The acceptance of a role model does not necessarily embrace and enthrone the individual on a pedestal. For in order to place another above us, we have to consider ourselves as beneath them. While we may respect them or think them worthy of such esteem, in actual fact we are setting our relationship with them up for failure. We hold people that we put on pedestals to a higher standard than we hold ourselves or others. We see them as more than and better and while this may be true; it is only true in certain areas of their lives and specific arenas that they operate in.   In other areas of their lives they have their shortcomings and when we have someone on a pedestal our tendency is to focus only on our own shortcomings.  This has a negative impact on our own sense of self-worth and self-esteem.  We overlook our own attributes, skills and abilities in favor of the other.

The person on the pedestal feels pressured to act in a certain way to avoid failure, we deny both ourselves   experiencing and relating with each other. While the other may have attributes and abilities that we aspire to have or wish we had,  our  putting them on a pedestal continually keeps these same attributes and abilities out of our reach.  We have given our power over to the person on a pedestal.  The person has been placed there by our own false precepts or demanded by others to suit and meet some selfish delusions to meet short term gains, but the bottom line is, nobody belongs on a pedestal – at least nobody who is alive.  Especially when they have had extreme personality flaws and areas of their lives in which they were barely functioning.

Let us examine further; if an elevated person said a thing was thus and so it was law whereas such opinions often prove great determents.  Further, to work with them becomes well-nigh difficult, as they are out of reach, making communicating with them extremely awkward and uncomfortable if not impossible.   People who are on pedestals are very hard to get hold of.

The truth is we all have things that we excel at or have the potential to excel at. We all have certain innate attributes and abilities and our own way of manifesting them in our outer realities. That some of us chose to assign our power away through our reluctance to be known and to take responsibility for what we know is a matter of choice. However, when we do so we also give over control of our own lives and assign it instead to the hero of the moment. In life, there are no pedestals-we are all walking on the same ground together. When we realize this, we become our own models and our own idols. This is the key to balance and wholeness within us and our relationships.

The person we so admire, love and perhaps worship is better as a role model rather than idolized on a pedestal; we gain more from the former rather than the latter; the former will seldom disappoint us while the latter always does.  Do check it out with those whom you had or have placed on a pedestal!