Worshipping Idols

“You’re so cool, idol. I love you.”

“I’ve seen you in that video today. So idol!”

“I. D. O. L.”

“អាយដូល!”


Here are just variations of how people have been jokingly employing the term “idol” repeatedly for about 300 times to me now. I know it’s all a trend and show because honestly? I’ve done it to quite a few handful of unsuspecting victims too. You have to admit it’s refreshing to be creating this culture of admiring and shamelessly admitting your respect and pride for someone. I mean, what sort of people DO NOT want to be praised for their efforts and hard work? However, just like with many things, if done wrong, this mere idolizing can mean serious trouble because if you have not noticed already, idol doesn’t just mean someone whom you have considerable admiration for, it also means this.

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 6.07.34 PM Yeah, that’s right. It also means something that you pray as part of your religion. If there’s one thing I know for sure about this implication, it is this, you think of someone as FAR, FAR above you- this enlightened know-all being who’s leisurely hanging out in the clouds spewing one genius work after another without so much as a sweat. Lowly earth-worms like you can never aspire to be half that successful.
So what do you do? You idolize them. You say, oh, he’s born a genius. That’s why. She’s been doing it for 10 years; of course, she’s fluent in it. I can never ever be that committed. Oh, you know, his mind is extraordinary. It just can’t be explained.  No, of course, he doesn’t have any flaw. There’s nothing that she can’t do; maybe save for being a failure.

You call them gods. You do whatever it takes to convince yourself that no matter how much you work, you, a chanced mortal can NEVER achieve that level of excellence.

You know what you’re subconsciously doing by practicing this sort of idolizing? You’re setting a huge air cushion ready for your future fall. Instead of crawling your way to success, you’d rather label that success unattainable; thus, relieving you of any blame for not attempting. And the result? Without the goal of achieving success, instead of practicing, instead of putting in the work and time needed for improvement, you waste your life burrowing from one hole to another, convincing yourself all the way that you can never be a god after all, so why try?

Besides demotivating you to achieve greatness, this idolizing of humans also means you are effectively removing yourself from their friend list. there-are-two-ways-to-dehumanize-someone-by-dismissing-them-and-by-idolizing-them

By idolizing someone, you’re choosing to see them as immortal instead of blood and veined humans with flaws, biases, emotional distress, and childhood trauma (everybody has those; especially artists). That’s why many fans lament about being disillusioned after getting to meet their favorite idol (mostly celebrities).
“I don’t know who he thought he was. He was not all that impressive.”
“She didn’t even know what piece of writing I was quoting! And I’d thought she was smart!”
Well, can you blame them though? You set up this perfect standard for someone, and then blame them for not fitting into the cloud-pacing goddess image that you’ve created for them?

And without leaving room for them to be flawed, to be irrational, to be dumb, you’re effectively cutting all bridges to connect with them on a deeper level. You may be able to hold a decent small talk with them every once in a while, but without giving them the chance to be vulnerable, good luck getting close to them.

Conclusion? I think what I’m trying to get across is this: it’s very tempting to put labels on people, to give them a two-dimensional mask and write them off as perfect or dumb, but humans aren’t nearly always so neat, are they? Before calling someone your idol again, ask yourself, am I merely respecting one aspect of their life, or am I effectively shining their statue and putting it on my shrink?

Seven Signs You Have a Toxic Friend (and Some)

Signs you have a toxic friend:

  1. Most of the time, you feel bad about yourself after hanging out with them: even if there’s nothing particularly horrifying happened during the time you spent together, you still feel dejected. There’s this small whisper from the depth of your heart that you’re wasting your time with this person. However, guiltily, you push these thoughts away.
  2. You don’t really know how, but they always have the last say in an argument: even if you have a literal list of arguments planned out before the confrontation, some way or the other, it always ends with you guiltily apologizing.
  3. You are terrified, yes, completely terrified of stating something against them. God forbid you criticize them because instead of listening to what you have to say, they would accuse you of wrongly misjudging them. After every intervention, you are always left with a pool of guilt and a hint of anxiety to a point that the mere thought of standing up to them makes you feel uneasy.
  4. In conflicts that you are not involved, whether it be that brawl in forth grade, or recent break up with a significant other, they always paint themselves at the right side while recounting those stories in vivid details. It’s as if the world is conspiring against them, and they are this helpless little creature always at the mercy of the cruelty of the world.
  5. Their attention is push and pull. They might say you are the closest person they are with, but they always have a ready hoard of sources of attention once yours is drained.
  6. Whether it be subtle or harsh, they always find ways to criticize you, BUT, here’s the catch. They would assure you afterwards that even if you are not really worthy of love, they love you anyway.
  7. After an argument, they always almost lay out their sob stories– how the confrontation has affected them personally, but they almost never really ask you how you feel after the confrontation. You can count on one finger the amount of time they really genuinely want to know about your well-being.

And if you’re still not sure, here are some more signs: if you read this post with a person in mind, and if you hesitate in sharing it because it would definitely ensure shady comments making you guilty of even thinking of calling them toxic, then you, my friend, are in a toxic friendship.

 

 

The Potato Clan

This is a somewhat personal post. Not so scientifically well-researched, not persuasive, the aim of this article is just to express my gratitude for my group of friends. Continue reading The Potato Clan