Do you idolspize?
Or, more to the point, whom do you idolspize?
Let me explain. It recently became clear to me that modern life has spawned a brand new emotion, that psychological sidewalk-crack between envy and idolatry that we often succeed in jumping over, but once in a while fall right through. That's where we meet them, those of superior beauty, character, talent and intelligence and, if friends, who are never less than loyal, supportive, generous and kind.
For this we loathe them.
It's a fun piece, and it's got me thinking. I struggle with my fair share of idolspizing, particularly when I run into folks who manage to get articles and books published regularly.
I'll be very candid: one reason why I have so many diverse interests (athletic, academic, material, spiritual) and so forth is because of "idolspizing." The sad little truth is that when I run into a fellow who is clearly more talented, better-looking, a faster runner, or whatever, I "idolspize" -- and then comfort myself by saying "Well, he may be fast, but he doesn't have a Ph.D" or "He may be handsomer than I am, but I know I could take him in a 10K" or "He may be on his third book while I just blog, but I'm a better public speaker", or "He has that David Yurman watch I really want, but when he opens his mouth, he's dumb as a brick."
Oh, I can be horribly petty.
The article stresses that
To be truly idolspicable, someone must be thisclose to your own age, background, educational achievement and career, and they must be of your gender and general situation in life...
This is where I see my character defect of constantly comparing myself to others. Though I have many good friends in their thirties and early forties, I still struggle with comparisons with other men around my own age. It's getting better, mind you, as I get ever more comfortable in my own skin, but I'm still prone to unseemly bouts of "idolspizing". I don't compare myself to actors or celebrities -- it's almost always to real guys I know. (Okay, that's not always true. I was watching an interview with Jon Bon Jovi the other day; he's a couple of years my senior, and I couldn't take my eyes off his skin. What the hell does he do to look so good at his age?)
Have I mentioned that my left hook is coming along nicely in boxing class?
UPDATE: There's a good spiritual angle to this topic, and it's one I'll explore sometime soon when I'm feeling less superficial and vain, and more suffused with the Spirit.