The Prompt: Who is the person in your life who can do no wrong? Describe this person and tell us why you hold them in such high esteem.
I have no idea what this type of relationship is like. So I asked my therapist – she told me that the idea of absolutely trusting someone to do no wrong is a very high standard often based on what we want to believe, not what is real. She also told me that I pretty much expect everyone to do wrong by me and the world – I can’t argue with that.
I could tell you stories of life’s disappointments, both heartwrenchingly awful and rather mundane. But that’s boring and no need to go there.
The people that do amaze me are my friends who are radically different than me, but still remain my friends. I have one friend who is a very staunch Republican and every once in a while, she speaks up to disagree with me. But we are still friends. There’s no unfriending or blocking or anything dramatic like that. I also have a few friends I perceive to be truly living their faith (more Pope Francis, less Joel Olsteen) and I find them pretty amazing. But I can’t say “do no wrong” because they perpetuate great evil by contributing to Institutions that actively harm people.
I can’t imagine having this sort of faith in another person. Of course people do wrong. It’s how they pick themselves up afterwards that I admire.
Another reason I am skeptical of people’s claims that Grandma Louise or Uncle Joe were beyond reproach is that people hiding secrets tend to use that same argument. And the data on sexual, physical and emotional abuse by acquaintances, friends and family is so clear -I’m much more likely to believe “Grandma Louise was terrific, but she did like her wine and sometimes started talking about Grandpa. That’s when the kids had to leave the room.” That feels authentic.
Pedestals are for works of art.