The pandemic has mostly confined me to the safety of my home. And being home for months together provides innumerable topics to ponder on, my brain mostly comes up with vague ones. So, yesterday night some random show on the TV set me thinking on what do we look for in our idols or role models. After wracking my brain and constantly arguing with myself I came to conclude that, the person we choose to idolise, in them we look for the traits that we lack!
Did that surprise you? It did surprise me initially until I could finally convince myself of this earth shattering truth 😀 . Let me explain, in case you are still reading my ramblings.
I idolise Dr. APJ Kalam, I find him to be an exemplary human being. He had a childhood that was filled with adversities; I had too. He fought all of that and his positivity and determination, hard work, made him a scientist par excellence, a visionary and a human in whom one could see reflection of God. I fought too, however my lack of determination, laziness and clouds of negativity refrained me from being the remarkable scientist I wanted to be; it may be worth noting that I did become a scientist albeit one that made no mark. All that I lacked in me, I saw in him. All that I ever wanted to be, he was all of that (including the president part, as a child I always dreamt of being the president of India 🙂 ).
Consider someone who idolises MK Gandhi. Someone who doesn’t bat an eyelid while lying for convenience, who loves to indulge in gossip and never fails to stop the car to witness a fight and derive pleasure out of it (most of us are guilty of one of these at least). And thus this person actually throws the three monkey concept of Gandhi right out of the window bringing in the paradox. Yet to them Gandhi is their idol cause they see him devoid of the vices they are fighting to get rid of.
Subhash Chandra Bose was known to be fearless, brave, and much respected leader, we owe our freedom to him. Now take someone who idolises Netaji. Someone is constantly seeking approval of their actions from others, who does things not out of conviction, but to please others, in an attempt to become popular. Someone who lacks the guts to stand up for what is right. This person idolising Netaji is a paradox. He seeks the qualities he lacks but wished he had, and sees them in this great leader.
Thus lies the Paradox of Idolising.