Reconciling our good and bad parts
Like a myriad of kids around the world, I always thought of my parents as saints, people incapable of doing any harm. It never occurred to me that everyone is somebody’s kid/parent/partner, and someone else thinks their mother can not do anything wrong. Never mind that we do not extend that courtesy to other people’s mothers. Maybe it has something to do with the inability to understand that people we love and cherish are humans and do human sh*t or that grownups do not necessarily know the best for themselves, let alone the people they care for.
The pedestal you put on people you love is similar to the one you put on celebrities you adore, except that you do not get to cancel your parents when you do not like their position on issues you care about. It always amazes me how “celebrity crazed” specimens get to put the celebrity on a pedestal and want to mould them into what they want. I understand that they might have influence, but it is the power you gave them in the first place. You do not get to binge-watch Kardashians, buy their overpriced products and critique them for not being good role models for young girls. No one deserves that.
Netizens will cancel you for taking the side about anything and accuses you of betraying them when you do not take a side. How do you expect a musician to be an expert on human rights? Why would you want an actor’s opinion about climate change? Being someone’s role model terrifies me, and I do not wish to be in a position where I am forced to act “right”. I like to imagine that being a celebrity has many challenges (not that I have been / will be one).
It is unfair to judge revolutionaries by every aspect of their lives. You can improve millions of lives and still be a “not-so-great” husband or father. It is unfair to uphold people to the standards we can not uphold ourselves.
How do we reconcile the cancel culture with the fact that people change? My opinions change pretty often. People learn every day. If you were to judge me by my beliefs of 1 or 3 years ago, you would be judging someone entirely different (FYI: not to say I have become a better living being but you get the idea). People have different sides to themselves. They do good and bad things. It does not make them bad or good people but people who do bad and good things. So, how do we reconcile our good and bad parts? It starts with accepting that you might not be a good person yourself.
Accepting that I am not a good person taught me how to be compassionate. It made me extend compassion to people I love when they do things I do not like or find harmful. It taught me how to love without expecting people to be perfect and controlling. Ironically, it made me shed the feeling of being inadequate and accepting that one does not have to have all the answers to be a good sibling, parent or lover. It taught me to look past revolutionaries’ weaknesses and celebrate their achievements because they are humans after all.