The people we value in our society are the people who are perched on the top rung of their ladders. We idolise those who have excelled, and as a media-driven society, we shine a spotlight in their face and expect a moral pillar by which we can base our actions. Talented at football? Acting? Singing? One foot out of line and your talent is made redundant because you’re unwittingly a role model. Didn’t you know?
When we slip up we put our head down, apologise, keep moving, and then agonise over it before we fall asleep. When a person, just the same, except in the media’s spotlight, slips up, the camera catches it, they apologise, and the whole world agonises over it until somebody else does something worse.
It’d be healthy for both sides of this scenario, if we took a moment to remember that the perfect people on tv are just as clueless as the rest of us. And really, if anyone was given a few million dollars and some power, then followed with a camera, some unflattering behaviour would undoubtedly be captured. Not to mention, the camera has an agenda, and if it catches you pick your nose, it wins.
Similarly, when we watch or read something flawless, we see a dedicated, talented, and hard working person’s final product. We don’t see the footballer’s aching slip in the mud, the comedian’s stuttered joke to an empty audience, the musician’s wrong note, or the writer’s sad first draft their aunt Maria is forced to read.
We’re impressed by airbrushed stories- as if our idols were flawless in their craft since infancy, and we’re falling short of that standard. Their stumbles and scrapes aren’t polished, just as yours won’t be.