My most trusted friend is a wrongly convicted murderer……and a saint. My brother’s godfather is a christian minister……..and a convicted paedophile.
One has had fifteen years of his life taken away unfairly and the other has unfairly taken away years of others’ lives. I’m finding it tricky to process I realise, as it pops into my head with surprising regularity. I’m not awash with self-indulgent despair but I am perturbed.
It seems to me that we all attribute far too much reverence to certain groups in society. This, in turn, leads to provision of the greatest ‘baddies lair’ imaginable – the ability to hide in plain sight in the cushioned bosom of sustained wishful thinking. We provide a refuge for rot in our unblanching respect for those we rely on. We bring up our children on a diet of goodies and baddies and yet simplify the identification of those to such an extent that a man in uniform, a suit, or my own special interest – fluorescent/reflective jackets, can basically go anywhere and do anything they like. Really? Honestly, here in the UK a man could stick on a fluorescent jacket and dismantle Big Ben with no interference!
Leave the outdated stereotypes where they should be, in books, films and antique shops.
Police, doctors and other medical staff, religious leaders, community leaders, grandparents, mothers, religious followers, funeral directors….
There is a spectrum there but I think it’s clear what I’m getting at. Some titles give the automatic perception of moral standing, to, deceiving, selfish, bigoted, weak, bullying, fibbing, fallible humans, and with that, power.
Automatic attribution of saintliness is a dangerous game. Whilst I don’t dispute for a second the number of genuine and integrity-filled individuals who choose these paths, the reality is that we are all human.