The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

I’ve always admired the Dalai Lama. For me, he seemed like the epitome of enlightenment. He’s dignified. He’s compassionate. He remains calm in the face of grave injustice in the form of China stealing Tibet. He doesn’t even seem bitter about the fact that no country is willing to step in to correct this outrage. He’s all about love and acceptance. He doesn’t judge.

But it seems that he’s also just a man of his generation. And that breaks my heart. Because as a man, he’s inherently flawed.

According to this article, he has said on more than one occasion that if a woman succeeds him, she should be attractive. Because if she’s not, no one will want to look at that face. Even when he is told that this comment offends people, he sticks by it.

This enlightened man just doesn’t get it.

You’d think that someone who has seen his country go through what it has gone through would understand that it’s wrong to require that someone’s most important quality be something that is so completely out of her control. It’s wrong to place hurdles in front of one group of people that you don’t place in front of another. It’s an incredible waste to completely overlook someone’s vast inner value based upon the arbitrary yardstick that you use to give a seal of approval to their outer shell.

It makes me sad to now see the Dalai Lama as an old man with occasionally outmoded, wrong-headed ideas.

But perhaps that has more to do with the rickety pedestal I have placed him upon than it has to do with the man himself. What right do I have to expect perfection? Just because he has failed to meet my standards, that doesn’t mean his inherent value as a public figure has changed.

Let’s try not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as he seems so willing to do. But give me a minute to mourn the fact that I am having to lower my expectations, here. I, too, am only human.

Dalai Lama

Hey! Look what I wrote!

4 thoughts on “Those Pesky Pedestals

  1. Angiportus Librarysaver says:

    I don’t think *he* looks all that great. First stone, anyone?
    Aaaakkk. Methinks I read some while back that he didn’t approve of gay marriage, and if that’s true, my estimate of him then went down quite a bit–not that I had a whole lot of “pedestal” for someone who got to a high position by some mystical means not his doing, if that’s how he got there–anyway, I got done with pedestals a long while back. If a person won’t take back a nonsensical statement, keep calling them out on it, and if that doesn’t work, turn your back and leave. Maybe no one is perfect, maybe no one can be, but crap should be blown out of the water every time. (So I’ll admit I don’t know his backstory very much and someone else can fill in those details.) I’m not in a mood to forgive someone who keeps spouting sexist, etc., garbage *after* having been properly informed of its unsuitability. And as for enlightenment, remaining serene when a whole bunch of people who look up to you have their homeland trampled is a bit hard to believe for me. It sounds an awful lot like a parent who will stand their and watch another adult abuse their child, with no action or even words of protest. I was that kid. For my money he can knock off the mansplaining and step up to the plate, using intelligence to help straighten out the Tibet situation.
    –Unless, of course, he points out that all his male successors should all be a Valentino or Adonis…

    1. Actually, this article gives me the impression that he supports gay marriage.
      And he does want freedom for his countrymen, and China would love to get rid of him for that very reason, and has in fact, incarcerated a young Panchen Lama for his entire life because of it. I think the Dalai Lama is trying to bring about change through peaceful methods, a la Gandhi and MLK, but without the support of even one other country, he isn’t having much luck. But you do make some very good points. My pedestals are few and far between these days.

  2. Angiportus Librarysaver says:

    Thanks for the infilling of info. BTW, I also appreciated yesterday’s post. Not much into history, but I don’t mind bite-size lessons, especially when written well, as you often seem to do.

    1. Thank you. That means a lot to me.

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