Who is Better?

Bill Abbate

Have you ever looked up to or idolized someone, only to be let down? Was the person famous, or did you know them personally?

How about now? Is there anyone you look up to or idolize? What are the chances this person is not all you think they are? Could your view of them be distorted?

Putting people on a pedestal

All of us put others on a pedestal at times. Have you ever praised someone as being great, outstanding, amazing, exceptional, etc.? How about looking up to someone for any reason? If so, you have put them on a pedestal, even if only for a moment. Hopefully, you haven’t kept or left them there.

When you see someone as being on a pedestal, they are only there because you put them there. In reality, they are just another human being like yourself. More on this later.

When someone puts themselves on a pedestal, be very careful! They have some issues to work on.

Think about it. Why would anyone put themselves on a pedestal? An egotist, narcissist, or someone compensating for something in their life may do so, but they live in a fictional world if they see themselves that way for very long.

Normal, well-adjusted, decent people do not look down on others and would never consider the thought. Okay, maybe some would for a moment, but not as a lifestyle!

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” Lao Tzu (c. 6th century BC)

The reality about people

People are people, regardless of their stature, and no, this is not about their height but rather their reputation, standing, or position in life.

You have likely heard people say, “they put their pants on one leg at a time like everyone else,” or some variation of this. Well, let me tell you something. It is true. They are as human and as ordinary as everyone else. They put food in their mouth and eliminate it just like everyone else. They must shower or bathe, or smell bad like everyone else. They are human and have the same bodily functions and issues every other person has, rich or poor, pauper or king.

Knocking them off their pedestal

If you want to take someone off a pedestal, use an old trick taught to public speakers. Imagine them in their underwear. Can you see them sitting on the throne in the bathroom? That changes your perspective of them, does it not?

What does it say about us when we put someone on a pedestal? Are we beneath them? Are they above us? If so, that is only true in our minds. It is not reality.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer (1940–2015)

If you were to get close enough to anyone in the world of high standing, you would find many of the same idiosyncrasies others have. There is even a good chance they may have more!

Look at entitled people who think they are better than everyone else. They have the same flesh, blood, and organs inside, regardless of what they look like on the outside. What they need is a change in their mind and heart which will likely occur only if they experience a humbling in their lives.

“People seldom change. Only their masks do. It is only our perception of them and the perception they have of themselves that actually change.” Shannon L. Alder (1969-present)

When famous people disguise their identity, their position on a pedestal ceases to exist. This shows they are on a pedestal only because we see them that way, not because they actually are!

Consider one of the poorest people in the world who may live to be 100 years old. Is this not a “superior” specimen of mankind compared to an extremely wealthy person who dies at 60 of a heart attack or disease? You can bet the person would give up all of their wealth to live such a long healthy life. Who is superior in that case, the person of longevity or the wealthy person? Neither, because of that great equalizer — death! They die, you die, I die, everyone dies in the end.

You may argue, but what about those who go down in history? What about them? Some are good (like the apostle Paul or Peter), and some are bad (like Hitler or Mao Zedong). Overall a small number of people leave a lasting legacy. But again, they are only people of flesh and blood with different circumstances in their lives.

But doing something with your life is worth striving for so long as you are on the right side of the equation! No one but you can stop you from making your best effort to do what is right.

How many famous people seem crazy? So many famous or well-known people are immoral and get caught in horrendous acts and activities. Imagine how many are corrupt and not yet found out. Some may have more money, education, or a higher position in a company, yet they are human beings, complete with human failings.

No one is perfect except The One

If you believe in the Bible, you know that every person on earth is a sinner, regardless of who they are. How can one sinner be above another? Scripture states:

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 KJV

Yes, many Christians believe in being saved by grace. Many do not believe this. Who is superior to the other — the Christian believer receiving eternal life or the unbelieving denier? Neither is. Until death, when truth prevails.

The only man to ever walk the face of the earth who was perfect was put on a cross 2000 years ago. Before or since, no one has been perfect because no one else can claim to be God, which is who He was, in the form of flesh for a time.

Final thoughts

It is up to you to make your mind up on how you see other people in life. While I look up to and would love to have met many famous people, I am not blind to the fact that they were flawed, just like every other person on earth.

Bottom line, I hope you understand we need to let no man on earth intimidate us. Why fear even the slightest thing about someone else when they are no better than you?

Oh, one last thing. If you put someone on a pedestal, limit how long you keep them there for your sake and theirs! That doesn’t mean you don’t respect them. It only means you recognize them as another human being.

I leave you with some wisdom from a famous American author. Take it to heart and know we are all sons and daughters of God, and he has no favorites. He loves us all equally and leaves it up to us to choose or deny Him!

“Persons appear to us according to the light we throw upon them from our own minds.” Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867–1957)

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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