God with the feet of Clay

Perturbed by turn of events, I’d been to meet a coach & friend and he said to me candidly – ‘Mangal, he must be a God with the feet of clay…’

I did not know what the phrase meant; it stayed in the recesses of my mind for a few days, hidden but not forgotten! Today unable to sleep, I googled and stumbled upon a site which provided me the meaning – a person much admired but fatally flawed… 

Why do we admire and follow someone? Most often it is because the ‘God’ has qualities that we do not have or has qualities we greatly admire. This admiration is so great that it takes us a long time to realize, that the person also has some flaws. And when the person recognizes it, admits to it multiple times, but does nothing to correct it is when you realize that it is a fatal flaw!

Isn’t this admiration for someone, despite the obvious flaws, also called ‘Hero Worship’? Hero is explained by answers.com as – ‘a person noted for special achievement in a particular field: the heroes of medicine.’   And worship is explained as ‘The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.’  

Are we as a nation, susceptible to hero worship? What comes to mind are the temples built in the names of actor’s people committing suicide when their favourite actor dies etc. Wikipedia states that almost 30 people committed suicide after M G Ramachndran, the actor turned politician from Tamilnadu, India, died of a prolonged illness.

What happens to this person, celebrity? Is he or she forced to wear a façade to keep his admirers happy and suppress his true identity? Or does he eventually suppress the urge to play God and show true colours and let the world see himself as he is – a God with the feet of Clay !!


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