What would you say to your child or teen who is disillusioned by the fall of his or her hero?Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/parenting/29704-what-would-you-say-your-child.html What would you say to your child or teen who is disillusioned by the fall of his or her hero?
It would depend on what kind of hero it was and why she was disillusioned.
Whenever we admire a living hero, we should also accept that all humans are fallible. We all have strengths and weaknesses and no one can say that they are beyond the possibility of having a personal failure.
In the Sikh faith, we believe that only God and Guru are beyond fault. The rest of us are human and, as humans, we are, by default, imperfect. The Sikh faith counts five
major flaws that all humans possess and must control: lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego. Any of these five can cause a downfall and they can only be controlled by a spiritual lifestyle focused on meditation on God.
Just because an individual is good at a sport or is a great singer or actor does not mean that they should be put on a pedestal. Their particular skill can be admired, but it is the person as a whole that we should be looking at.
I suppose the issue would then be who I would advise my child to look upon as a hero. I can think of many great "stars" in our culture who may be great in their sport or trade, but are not individuals I would hope a child would want to emulate or see as a personal hero.
The Sikh scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, says that a hero is one who has conquered the mind and recognized God within. That person, after conquering the self, goes on to help others selflessly.
So I would advise my child to look for a hero whose entire life embodies greater principles like service, sacrifice, compassion and truth. A person grounded in these principles is much less likely to fall from grace.
Ajit Singh Sahota is a retired biologist from Agriculture Canada and a founding member of the Sikh National Archives of Canada.