Monday, June 28, 2010

Imagining Heroes

I sent in all of my homeschooling paperwork to my school district. Most likely, I will not hear back from them. Usually they don't bother. This is fine with me. I figure no news is good news. Being well known can be an incredible burden.

Consider the cost of popularity. I've seen too many examples of people being hoisted up onto pedestals, expected to be infallible, and then they are knocked down by the mobs when it turns out that they truly were human. People have a funny way of creating an image of the people they idolize. We humans are a creative lot. We sometimes mistake our imaginings for reality. I recently watched Julie and Julia (excellent movie, by the way). In the movie, Julie Powell, learns about Julia Child through her attempt to cook everything in Julia Child's first cookbook. (I couldn't help but think that this was something an unschooler might do!) As Julie's own popularity grew through writing a blog about her experience, she was devastated by a negative comment from her idol, Julia Child. It's a touching scene when her husband explains that the Julia she has come to love and see as a mentor only exists in her mind. She created a Julia Child that perfectly matched what she needed.

Is it wrong to admire others and look to them for leadership? No. I think we need the inspiration that comes from celebrating the accomplishments of others. We are most human when we can share the happiness of a victory that is not our own, or commiserate over a defeat that does not affect us personally. The problem comes when we create expectations for our heroes, when we hold them to standards that set them up for failure.

I think this is why it has taken me so long to set my own thoughts and comics into a book. I'm not crazy about pedestals. I'm afraid of heights. This doesn't mean a book won't eventually happen, simply that I will move a bit slower than most. Like a little ant collecting one crumb at a time, I have slowly built up my stockpile of comic strips. I am amazed to have reached five hundred, and I have the 500th ready to show you on Wednesday. In spite of that accomplishment, my priority right now is being with my husband and children, so any grand schemes I have are limited to those fleeting moments between life adventures and quarterly reports.


Anonymous said...

A drawing and a decision are the first step. Then, like a puzzle, all the pieces have a spot. I remember how remote it was for you to reach the 1st 100 comics. But soon it became just one after another and another up to 500. How amazing is that? Your comic strip ideas are inspiration to some, guidance and direction to others, a jump start to the frustated and a thermostat for those who want to maintain quality performance in their homeschooling activities.
I have loved the ingenuity of each comic strip and more since you first took a pencil in your hands. I'm fascinated by your blessing and, most of all, by the sharing of your blessing.

I love you and pray that, whichever direction the flow of your life takes, it will continue to nourish the people it touches. Dad

~*~The Family~*~ said...

Your comics would make a great book! Homeschooling needs more possitive attention. Wouldn't it be great if it was synidcated?

I miss your vocab. word match thing on the side bar, where did it go?! I would feel smart for the whole day if I got them all right, lol.

jugglingpaynes said...

The word match up didn't fit on the sidebar with the new format. Scroll down and you will find it at the bottom of the page. :o)

~*~The Family~*~ said...

Excellent! I never go to the bottom, only looked as far as the sides went down. I will be hanging out down there from now on, well of course not until after I read your new comic for the day. I see kitty is down there too, I always gave her a little scratch to see her head go around. Sounds like I have no life doesn't it - LOL!

Vicki said...

Cristina!! Your father is so eloquent!! You are blessed in so many ways!
God bless you and yours. Have a wonderful July!

Inner Elder said...

You are so right about expectations. Maybe when we realize we cannot meet our highest ideals, we put them on others - like President Obama, Tiger Woods and so many others in the limelight. And then when they show their human frailty or fail to accomplish the impossible - uh!oh! Watch out! It takes wisdom and perspective, as you note, to appreciate and empathize with others and courage to share our own gifts. Go for it! Love, Mom

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