Look at someone’s life, from start to finish.
Anyone who has lived. They have done so many things. So much good. And so much bad.
If we stepped back and looked at it in totality. As a whole. How would you measure a life? How do you measure a single person’s life?
Do we measure a life by the amount of positive impact a person has on the world? Or by the amount of negative? Do we count the wins they have racked up? Or the sins they have committed? Do we simply look at the money they have accumulated or the debt that they saddled us with?
People often glorify the dead. Embellishing all the good. Silencing the bad.
As a realist, that’s an act I have harshly criticized.
It’s funny though with the living. Especially with some of the people that we know best in this world. The people closest to us. Sometimes we just don’t look past their flaws. And their sins. And their faults. Oftentimes we hold these people to a standard that no one, at least no one alive, could ever live up to.
And when people don’t live up to my standard. The impossible one that I set. I measure their lives mostly by their faults.
What’s even funnier. At the same time. I have these people who I consider heroes. These people that I hold up. High on pedestals. And I see only their greatest accomplishments. Their greatest fetes.
But these heroes are just men and women. No more or less human than me. No more or less human than you. No more or less human than the people I hold accountable for every tiny crack in the surface.
None of our heroes are flawless. Or sinless. Or faultless.
Their sins just didn’t affect us directly. We are studying them so rigorously that their faults become glaring. And we’re not close enough to these people, to see every single, tiny flaw. Sometimes we’re not close enough to see even any flaw.
Some of the most revered men in this world. Some of the most revered men in history. Some people I personally hold in the highest regard. Had and have documented flaws. And I ignore them.
Some have crucify-able worthy flaws. That I choose not to see.
Anyone who salutes a hero, salutes a flawed hero.
And that’s not a bad thing. I’m not trying to bring any heroes down. I’m not trying to drag them down into the depths in which we all sit. I’m putting effort towards raising everyone else up.
It’s a great thing to salute a flawed hero. It’s a much better way to look at people.
Maybe you already do this.
But it’s time I started measuring the lives of everyone. By the things I love most about them. And not by the things I dislike the most. It’s time I started celebrated their wins and not judge them for their sins. It’s time I started to see these people around me for the heroes that they are.
I shudder to think, if people measured my life by my flaws. There are so many from which to choose.
I used to hate the glorification of the dead. I don’t anymore.
I understand it now.
But I want to do better than that. I want to be better than that. Yes, I want to glorify the dead. And I also want to glorify the living.
I just lost someone who brought so much good to this world. And I will choose to measure his life on that.
RIP dad. You will be remembered by me in only the best of your ways.