I was listening to one of my favorite musicians on a podcast the other day.
He said something that I think needs to be addressed.
He talked about one of his personal heroes, and how his hero seemed to transcend the bounds of human limitations.
The host of the podcast said something to the effect of, “But he was a God. For us mere mortals, that can never be achieved.”
The guest vehemently agreed.
We tend to put people who are the best at what they do on a pedestal.
We marvel at their abilities, and say to ourselves, “they must have been born with something special. God, the Force, Yahweh, Allah – whatever it is – must have chosen them for a special purpose.”
I hear it all the time when musician friends talk about their favorite players.
“His playing ability is a gift.”
“She’s so talented; she’s so lucky she was born that way.”
“He’s a god; no one can ever be as good as him.”
This way of thinking is an illusion.
Those people we worship and admire – they’re human beings. Nothing more.
They were not chosen from some special force, high above in the clouds.
That’s not to say they aren’t legitimately good at what they do. Nor does this strip them of all the hard work they put into what they do.
In fact, acknowledging that they are human is a much higher level of respect than to put them on a pedestal, in my opinion.
There’s nothing more insulting than to work on something for years, only to have someone who doesn’t understand how you do the things you do, brush it off by calling it a “gift”.
It’s not a gift.
It’s a skill; often one that has been worked on and practiced, over and over and over again.
To the average person, realizing this is blasphemy. It’s saying that the people we admire won’t be here forever. That their talents will one day fade.
It’s hard to accept that the people we love and adore for the skills they have will one day pass on.
We want to believe that these people have transcended the limits of our lives.
Often, our egos won’t allow us to address it. We hide behind the concept of a “gift from a higher source”. It’s much easier to believe that someone out there picking and choosing who is special.
Even our heroes. They won’t be here forever.
No one is above or below anyone else.
Doesn’t matter how powerful someone is, how well-connected they are, or how good they are at what they do.
It’s all the same.