Idol: A person or thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered.
I think it’s important for a child to have a person he/she look up to as an inspiration. I excitedly watched tv and read books looking for such people and mirrored whatever character I found somewhat deserving of that title. It’s easier to choose fictional characters because those those characters are usually built up to perfection.
If one met my family, I would be called a strange girl for not considering my parents to be my idols. Thankfully, no one ever asked me who I idolise. Now, just to be clear, my parents are not terrible people. They are, in fact, quite amazing. My father grew up in a village in Northern Pakistan with barely any food and defied all odds to become a well-respected government official (mashaAllah). My mother battled many medical illnesses and hardship as a young girl taking care of her five siblings to become the doting mother of five children and the best cook in town. My parents are self-less people, always remembering to help the community back in our village and in our neighborhood as well. They made sure to give their children the best education possible and the love and care with it as well. Whenever my friends meet my parents, they call me lucky for having such supportive parents. Family dinners are filled with laughter. They are great parents and a great couple as well, but they can not be my idols.
See, with the good there’s also bad. My parents are only human, they are going to have their vices. They grew up in a different place, in a different time, and their views match that era. They are forever growing and learning but some of their thoughts are set in stone.
I learned from a young age about the hypocrisy of adults. I inherited my dad’s temper and my mom’s anxiety yet I was the one being admonished for those qualities and they were not supposed to change. I learned that girls are equal to boys but girls have to do house-work, and a boy can help if he wants. I saw how men are supposed to be the head of the family and are considered all-knowing even when they’re wrong. I was told to be quiet and obedient but also loud and outspoken like the other kids. There was no huge incident that made me realize this, just a lot of small ones that connected to one another.
All in all, I learned that my parents are not my idols. I admire them for their grit, faith, and intelligence. They have given me life and so much more than I could ever repay them for, but I do not want to be just like them. To be honest, I have no idols. I think everyone should read the complete history of people they idolise. Every person has vices and history tends to hide those vices. It is important to not tarnish a person’s good reputation but I find some of the acts of modern idols to be extremely repulsive and them not worthy of idolising (e.g. Michael Jackson and his child-grooming mansion).
I grew out of idolising fictional characters as well. It’s best not to mix reality with fantasy. I have no idols as such, just admirable people I’m thankful for. I hope to learn from both their good and bad side and try my best to treat them as human as they are.