If you think you’re immune to the lure of idolatry because you don’t belong to an organized religion, think again. With the proliferation of celebrity news (it’s rarely new information ) and scientific studies, we are ripe for idolization and worship of made-up deities.
It’s not new for people to put something or someone up on a pedestal and worship it without question but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to be more vigilant in the practice. Nothing and no one is infallible. I recently read an article in which Beyonce was described as someone with a “heart of gold” for choosing a woman with a disability to be the face of her fashion line. The author continued to extol Beyonce’s virtues, never once questioning her decision to hire a model with a disability or why we haven’t already seen more models with disabilities represented in popular media.
Before you rush to Beyonce’s defense, let me say I think it’s about time we saw more people with disabilities represented in the popular media. They’re grossly underrepresented and still massively pigeonholed by much of the population. But I hardly think Beyonce deserves to be worshiped as some sort of goddess who can do no wrong. She’s an artist and a person, no more or less important than me or you.
The same goes for people who hold degrees or publish their work. We LOVE to quote authors and studies when we’re trying to make a point. Some people won’t even consider a written opinion unless it includes citations. This is bullshit. There have been plenty of highly-educated, reputable (lots of people have heard of them), scholars, doctors and humanitarians who’ve said and done idiotic and hurtful things. The letters “Ph.D” following somebody’s name mean nothing besides they were awarded a degree in something. Education and learning are not synonymous. We all know someone who’s had loads of schooling and doesn’t seem to have learned a thing.
Some of us LOVE to quote authors and religious leaders as if by doing so, some of their wonder-dust will rub off on us. Well it won’t. You’re still you and they’re still them and that’s good enough.
How big of a leap is it to respect the opinions of others all on their own? Why do we need evidence to back up our thoughts? Why do we have to stand on the shoulders of the people we idolize. Do we really think so little of our own opinions and the thoughts and feelings of others? Are we not credible all by ourselves? Are we not important? Maybe that’s it; maybe we don’t think very much of ourselves or others. And maybe we think too much of some. I challenge you to state your opinions without quoting anyone and to listen to others without asking for a citation. It might be uncomfortable for a little while but………. I believe in you. You can do it.