A Pedestal: A Dangerous Place to Be

This post was actually spawned from seeing an issue of some garbage magazine with a picture of Princess Kate Middleton on the front. I saw the picture of her on the cover, shockingly not in her wedding dress, and thought to myself what an idol she has become. From a schoolgirl with a noble background to marrying the Crown Prince of England she has become an icon, whether we like it or not. She is someone that people will always expect perfection from. People will expect her to act a certain way, dress a certain way, and look a certain way. But no one is perfect. At some point a camera is going to catch her in a moment when she isn’t dressed right or acting a certain way and it will be in all of these garbage magazines as something awful that she did. Kate Middleton went from being an ordinary woman to a woman placed on a pedestal. When things go wrong, that’s a hard place to be.

I had an experience with this about two years ago. I made the mistake of thinking that this person knew everything, allowed them to get in my head and help me make a lot of decisions. This person helped me out a lot in my life and was right about a lot of things, but in the end did something very inappropriate that ended our friendship and crushed the pedestal I had placed them on. This person fell off of the pedestal to a place beyond low. To a place I like to call scum of the earth.

Unfortunately I will not release the specifics of the situation. What I will tell you is about the mistakes I made and the lessons I learned.

Idols are dangerous things when they are people. An idol is someone (in this case) or something you admire. It’s often easier to admire a thing because it has no feelings. When you place someone as an idol in your life and you actually get to know them, at first you think they can do no wrong. Everything they say is right and everything they do is angelic and perfect. This can be all the way up the ladder to someone with, now, a lot of fame like Kate Middleton or it can be someone like your local garbageman or a teacher.

When you admire a person so much so that you place them on a pedestal you often first see them through rose-colored glasses. Often it is a new relationship (romantic or not…in this case not) when this happens. You’ve just met, you’ve known each other for a few months and you think you really know the person. Truthfully, it takes years to get to really know someone. However, this isn’t what you’re thinking at the time. You’re basking in the newness and wonderfulness of the person, like a lazy cat basking in the sun, outstretched on the neighborhood sidewalk. You feel good. I felt good.

At some point, after the newness wears off, you finally see a crack in the foundation. Much like getting a brand new car, parking it in the middle of nowhere, walking into and then out of a store only to discover that the side door panel has a fresh ding in it. Somewhere inside you, something hurts. You’ve been floating around in a bubble with this person and then unexpectedly the bubble pops. The person does something to hurt you.

This happened to me. I got hurt. Yes this person did something that violated my trust in them. That hurt me. What really hurt me though was that I had been seeing this person with no flaws. I had placed this person on a pedestal of perfection and thought they could do no wrong. People make mistakes. People are going to make mistakes. No one is perfect. I let myself down by placing this person on a pedestal which increased the pain I felt from the situation that occurred. It was a classic example of what I described above: I hadn’t known this person that long, I was floating along in a bubble thinking everything was wonderful and then the bubble burst when I wasn’t even looking.

Be careful when you make a new friend or wind up in a new relationship, romantic or not. Expect that people have flaws and you will be better able to control your reaction to their actions. You’re going to make a mistake somewhere in your life too. No one likes to let down and no one likes to be the one to let somebody down; however, at some point in our lives we’ll either be the former or the latter. We’re just human and we’re prone to make mistakes.

Remember that we’re all flawed. No one is perfect—not even Kate Middleton (no matter how beautiful she looked in her wedding dress or how fabulous her engagement ring was). Don’t place someone on a pedestal and expect them to stay there. They will come crashing down at some point and hopefully, you will not be crushed by the fall when the bubble pops.