The sound of pedestals
crashing to the ground
You know what I mean
(It’s just a metaphor)
did we erect all these (damn) pedestals
in the first place???
A Few Relevant Quotations (inevitably)
“Anyone who idolizes you is going to hate you when he discovers that you are fallible. He never forgives. He has deceived himself, and he blames you for it.” – Elbert Hubbard (quoted in the novel Seduction, by Catherine Gildener)
“In my early years at Omega, [an organization she co-founded] when I was in my twenties, I found it disconcerting when teachers started falling off their pedestals. Like discovering over dinner that a renowned relationship expert was getting divorced, or hosting a retreat for peace activists and finding out they were very angry people. Or meeting the depressed happiness researcher. Or the monk with a big ego. At first this upset me. But as the years went on, it liberated me. It made me more tolerant of all people’s inconsistencies, and it made me more compassionate toward myself. It showed me that no one is living the exact life you think they are, so if you compare your life to another person’s, you’re usually comparing it to a fantasy of your own making. Seeing the imperfect humanness of my teachers side by side with their genius has helped me stop expecting perfection of myself. My close encounters with the wise ones have helped me relax and lighten up. I’ve let go of the goal of perfection and taken up the goal of authenticity.
The end of authenticity deficit disorder is not a glamorous new personality. It’s less exciting and more wonderful than that: You become more fully yourself. You become more present, more awake, more alive. You uncover a natural intelligence that knows what you need in order to fulfill your destiny. You look less and less outside yourself for validation and direction. Your life becomes who you are, not what you do.” – Elizabeth Lesser in Marrow – A Love Story (an utterly wonderful book!)
Previous postings about pedestals on this site
Pulling Down the Pedestals <March 2009>