Unfortunate Aftermath of Pedestals

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Very often we dont ask to be celebrated. Some of us never actually signed up for being your upstanding members of society and your typical role models.

It is however very unfortunate that being a somewhat celebrated individual whom most people, young and old, look up to. It often puts one on an unrealistic pedestal which makes it difficult for the “celebrated” individual to be afforded an opportunity to be liable to every other mortal.

It is good and well that we have persons that we generally look up to and to whom we look to for model behaviour and conduct. Who also serve as a source of inspiration for the people we envisage to evolve into at some point of our lives. You know, the people we look to and whose lives we study or have an interest in and be like:
insert role model’s name is such goals, i wanna be like her when I grow up”.
I believe every community has those kind of individuals, the kind that our parents use as a yardstick to measure our success or highlight our shortfalls against.
“Ungake nje mbtanami ufane nengane ka MaHlatshwayo (my mom’s maiden surname lol). Ave iziphethe kahle leyangane, iyahlonipha, ifunde yagogoda kwiziqu zobudokotela (in an ideal world lol), iyasebenza inomuzi wayo nemoto yayo”.

That type of commentary or conversation that leaves you with an impression that the life of the individual in question is nothing short of perfection.

It remains true, however that such societal pedestals can tend to be somewhat suffocating and unrealistic an expectation to have for the individual.

It is good and well, very much encouraged to have individuals that we admire and “wanna be like”.

BUT… (and that is a very big but), at the end of the day we need to come to the centred realisation that irrespective of how much we love and adore these persons, they are also very much imperfect mortal beings. They too are as human as you and me are, and they are bound to slip up and make mistakes, bad choices or whatever that may be deemed unbecoming and out of character for them.

We need not put persons in such a high rank, as far as moral uprightness is concerned, that when something about them that we find distressful occurs, then we feel a sense of betrayal and loathe as if we have been sold dreams.

Truth be told, I am no celebrity but I have a vivid idea of what our celebrated people go through on the daily, by virtue of them being human like me. I’d often imagine that they reach pitfalls too, they are not exempted from the ongoing struggles of being a living being. They too have the same or similar issues that we the common folk go through.

My wish is that we may understand that simple fact and be mindful of that reality if and when these people let us down (which they inevitably will at some point because they are not programmed robots that only act and react a certain way). Basically what I’m saying is, let’s give each other a break! You know, cut people some slack! They may be going through the most without us even knowing and us waiting for them to deliver on our expectations of them without fail. That is simply a rather impossible, unrealistic and very much unattainable standard.

It comes with being a “public” figure, you may say. Truthfully so, it does but before they are public figures, they are first of all human. These pedestals we have put them on by default make it hard for them to breathe sometimes and we mean well but it suffocates at times.

George Bernard Shaw puts it profoundly when he writes: “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”

 

We don’t encourage slip ups but when they occur…which they most often than not, inevitably do, let us remember what forms the core of our being, we are all mortals. No one is exempt from errors but it takes the God-given grace to keep us from falling.

Yours in ✍🏾
Nondumiso Kubheka

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3 Comments on “Unfortunate Aftermath of Pedestals

  1. Thank ypu for this… experienced some form of catharsis as I read it cause it resonated so much

    1. So true…but we often forget that they are human too. Life is worth living and that comes with making mistakes, that’s how we learn and grow into people we are at present.

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