Hero Worship Gone Wrong

Never before in human history have we seen such a rise in hero worship.  Of course, hero worship itself has been around a long, long time.  What is different about the time we are living in has to do with the ‘reasoning’ behind hero worship.  In other words, why do we admire certain people?  What are the reasons behind why we admire some people and not others?

That’s where we diverge from history, because the reasons for hero worship in the past are quite different from the reasons of today.  In the past, people were admired for their skill at leadership, whether in war, or in peace.  They were admired for their skill at being an artist or craftsman, such as Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo.  They were admired for building things, such as Gutzon Borglum for designing and carving Mount Rushmore.  There were admired for leading us out of the Depression and through World War II, such as President Roosevelt.  Even movie stars were admired for doing something – usually a movie that told a story that struck a chord with audiences, such as Gone With the Wind.

Today, however, hero worship can occur for no reason at all.  The individual doesn’t have to accomplish anything note-worthy, doesn’t really have to do anything.  Typically, when I make such statements, the general initial response is something like, “What is Chuck Patterson taking about now?  We don’t worship people who have done nothing.”  Hmmmm…  well, let me try a few on you to see if what I’m saying isn’t true.

Kim Kardashian – big following, huge popularity, very famous, seen everywhere.  But, what exactly did she do?  Hmmmm….. wait a minute, let me think…  Don’t tell me.  Give me a minute.  Oh, that’s right – wasn’t Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn Jenner) her father or step-father?  And wasn’t there a big flurry over the release of a sex tape?  Well, that sounds like grounds for hero worship, doesn’t it?

What about Paris Hilton?  Millions follow her every move.  She has lines of clothes, etc, etc…  But, what exactly did she do?  Oh, that’s right, she’s the heiress to the Hilton hotel chain fortune, and there was also a sex tape for her.  Hmmm…  surely solid grounds for hero worship.

Yes, my friend, whether you realize it or not, we have gone a little crazy these days over who we idolize or admire.  In fact, it may be said we are not quite sure why we do it at all.

Let me go back a little ways to show you how weird hero worship has become.  When John F Kennedy became President, everyone was in love with him and Jackie.  They represented ‘Camelot’.  Charm, wealth, good looks, good humor, and power was all that was needed to promote nationwide hero worship.  When John Kennedy Jr. was born, the White House received over 5,000 pairs of blue booties for ‘John John’.  Now, think about this.  5,000 pairs of booties that would never be worn, given to a family that had more wealth and power than most anyone else in America, and given by families that could have used the money paid for those booties, themselves, and for their own children.  That’s weird.

It’s not entirely bad to admire someone, and if you think that is the message here, you’re mistaken.  What is wrong is to not know exactly “why” we admire someone, or to admire them for entirely the wrong reasons.  It is probably wrong to admire someone when we cannot even express why we admire them, or understand the reasons for admiring them.

The message here is simply this – think!!  Use that thing above your shoulders that God gave you, and put it to work.  Don’t be like the mindless millions who follow like sheep without any thoughts or reasoning ability.  Understand why you make the decisions you make.

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One Response to “Hero Worship Gone Wrong”

  1. Bea McGuire Says:

    I loved this blog! Every church congregation needs to read this! This right here will preach! Blessings!!

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