The recent fiasco over two actors, one of whom struck the other because of an insult, indicates just how much we revere actors in general as the paragons of what it means to be human. This fixation on a celebrity or who’s who in the zoo can border on the ridiculous was it not so tragic. We have our heroes in the World, such as the hall of fame for all sports. We raise these people, men, and women, to a higher level of respect due to their skills in what they do. A Hall of Famer is just a significant cut above ordinary football players, which is the significant gap over fans of the sport.
The problem with actors, professional sports players, role models such as politicians (tongue in cheek), or any other class or people who do a job that we find inspirational is twofold: they may be role models to some of us because they excel or are the best at what they do, but often this does not help us to become better humans because of their contributions. Actors, for goodness sake, make their living pretending to be someone else. Some of them do it well, and television and YouTube have glorified their achievements, but do they teach us about the purpose of life and how to solve The Divine Equation by what their lives proclaim? There is a saying, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
An actor has special talents that we do not possess, so they are special. The problem becomes they are the perceived best at acting, so they automatically because the seat of wisdom in anything they say, and are they someone that will help us identify what it means to be human? Their notion of morality must be correct, and what they say about God must be the truth. We relegate to them what we would never do other “mere moral: creatures. They become the norms of what is good or evil. What they spout may be absolute nonsense, but we let them get away with it without informed challenge. This is the celebrity that the world touts as our role models of moral and spiritual righteousness.
Contrast that with the lives of any of the Saints. I limit my remarks to those made Saints by the Catholic Church for what they did in having Christ Jesus’s mind (Philippians 2:5). Heroic? Some shed their blood for what they believed, and what they believed was to love one another as Christ loved you. Some lived their life in such a way that those who followed after them were more fulfilled as a human (belief in three universes of physical, mental, and spiritual, rather than only two, the physical and mental).
Every Saint has in common with us is that we are all sinners (except Jesus and his mother, Mary). We live in the corruptibility of matter and mind but have put on the armor of incorruptibility to die to self so that we could rise with Christ each day. Who are the role models to show us how to love others as Christ loved us? Actor and sports figures? What questions should you be asking?