As I watch and observe humans, I note that we are all on a relentless search to discover who we are and what is the meaning of life. As humans we want solid answers and are uncomfortable with the acceptance of the unknown. We want to maximize our time here on earth and hope that when we are near the end we will have found and discovered all of the answers. I can tell you with great certainty that that happens for very few people. The mystery of life remains just as it always was – an unknown. I believe that we only know for certain that we will never have answers. An acceptance of this reality in essence brings greater clarity.
An aspect of the human psyche around this topic that has been swirling in my head is that of why we idolize. I have always questioned why people idolize others. As a kid, my friends would pin up posters of celebrities around their room as swoon over the potential of meeting (or even marrying) one of these phenomenons one day. I convinced my mom to buy me a copy of Tiger Beat and Bop thinking that I could normalize myself to be like my friends and place pictures on my walls…
I just couldn’t do it. I’ve always seen others as just human beings on a different path. I once took a communications course in my undergraduate studies and we had to write a persuasive speech about convincing others to like a person we idolized. I dropped the class. That was not an assignment I could complete.
I don’t think there is anything necessarily wrong with idolizing although it feels illogical to me. I did a Google search to find some insight into why humans idolize, and I came across this article on the psychology of celebrity worship from Psych Central. The key takeaways from the article maintain that celebrity worship exists on a continuum, with some people merely casually reading about celebrities to those who over identify and empathize with the plight of celebrities. The article goes on to state that the most extreme types of celebrity worship are from people who have an external attribution preference and are looking for explanations of their world from outside sources. A key statement was at the end of the article:
“We’re seeking a sign of humanity that we can relate to and that feels familiar to us, despite how far away, unreal, and unattainable such lives really are.”
This for me comes back to the idea of being comfortable with that fact that we don’t know. We don’t know where we will end up in our careers. We don’t know how long we will live. We don’t know how much money we will make or whether we will find love. What I can know is that this is my journey and that I get to create the path. At times, there may seem to be rocks, logs, and lakes in the way but these are just the unknowns trying to block my view.
I can step around. I can step over. Sometimes I can just jump right in. I have choices and I can become comfortable with the uncertainty to more readily enjoy the ride.
I would love to hear your thoughts, comments and insights! Please feel free to share your journey!