False idols give us nothing in return for the attention and praise that we give them. They present themselves to the world and tell us that they must be worshipped without considering what they really have to offer or what their followers really want. They are disconnected from the rest of us. It is only through this disconnection that their false sense of power exists.
On the other hand there are role models. Role models contribute to our lives, they inspire us to be better, motivate us to improve and engage in two-way communication with the world. Role models appeal to our soul needs and although our soul needs are sometimes muffled by the noises of the superficial mind, they are much healthier and positive and when met lead to true fullfilment. You’ll know when your soul needs are satisfied because you’ll feel uplifted, loved and joyous.
So, who are these false idols you ask? They are reality TV stars (and their families), half-naked “Insta-celebrities”, social climbers, the “popular” group at school and anyone else who is worshiped based on superficial qualities.
Magazines like InStyle, Celebrity, Glamour etc. thrive solely on featuring stars in a variety of outfits over hundreds of pages, analysing their hairstyles, revealing their make-up secrets and dissecting their wardrobe—all so that the fans can be like the star—albeit with a more modest purse. So Plain Jane can end up feeling like a star, too, because—so she believes—being a star, in a movie called “Life,” is the sole source of happiness.
“Who would you like to be in the next 24 hours?” asks one advertisement for a watch—and that question captures the essence of today’s zeitgeist. “Being,” long consigned to the fringes with the other wallflowers as just plain “unglamorous,” is upstaged by “The Look,” which makes an entrance under the spotlight every day in something new.
The whole world is made up of actors; you spend all day playing comedies.
That’s not as harmless as it sounds. Based on historian Warren Susman’s definition, the Puritan, hard-working culture of the past demanded and respected character in a person, an imprint of his moral foundation.
One factor driving this unfortunate development was television. Certain soap operas, to be specific. It would be interesting, some day, to research the extent to which Dallas and Dynasty, the cult series from the ’80s, changed popular attitudes, at least for women. Both shows are—no surprise here—products of Hollywood. Both were about extremely rich families that lied and betrayed each other for all they were worth. Scenes (shorter than ever broadcast before) focused on trivial matters without an iota of depth; characters slammed doors instead of bringing an enlightening discussion to a conclusion.
Sources: https://themoderngay.com and https://www.facts-are-facts.com | Image Credit: Steven Klein, “Valley of the Dolls”