Gurus Have Clay Feet - Grasshopper
How high is the pedestal you envision your guru on? The higher it is, the more disappointed you’ll be when they fall from grace.
A guru in this context is someone who is outstanding in some area of life – usually an area we perceive ourselves lacking in.
They generally fall into some category of teacher. They opened your eyes to something you had been blind to before encountering them or their teachings.
We marry them to the ideals that they preach. Often, we don’t recognize they may just be the messenger and not the message.
Here’s a story of me equating a guru with pedestal perfection. Eons ago, I was watching the Merv Griffin Show on TV. Merv’s guest was a guy who wrote a book that I found fascinating. So much so that I drove to the bookstore right after the show and bought it.
This gentleman went on to have a monumental career. He wrote 44 books (many were best sellers), did numerous TV specials, and for decades was in high demand on the speaker circuit. He was a celebrated teacher (guru).
Over the years, I found out personal things about him that didn’t match up with my sainted image of him – multiple marriages, accusations of plagiarism, incidents of him not practicing what he preached, etc.
The sin committed was mine, not his. I failed to allow him to be human.
In doing so, I started to discount his message because, in my mind, if he was flawed, so too was his message. I was dead wrong. His messages have and will continue to stand the test of time.
This fellow was Wayne Dyer – a giant in his field – but just as flawed as you and me.
To offer proper respect to another human, we have to recognize they are human and not some air brushed ideal that we have painted in our mind. After all, didn’t even Jesus lose his temper and throw the moneychangers out of the temple?
Here’s a question to ask to find out if you’re putting someone on too high a pedestal. Do you allow them to have as many flaws as you? If you don’t, prepare for disappointment. For surely as night follows day even someone as idealized as Muhammad Ali had feet of Clay.
All the best,
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