There are two types of pedestals. The one you build with intent and desire. You like the altitude. You like that people must look up. That you get to look down. It makes you feel superior.
The other is when people put you on a pedestal of their own making. They project some altitude on you, give you a status in their mind that you may or may not want to claim.
Pedestals are not very easy to get off elegantly.
With the first type of pedestal the common way off is a fall. You are exposed for not being who you say you are. You are caught lying. Cheating. Deceiving. Building a self made pedestal is dangerous as gravity always wins in the end. The energy to both maintain the pedestal and to have it get higher always increases with time, and in the end will be entropic.
With the second type of pedestal, when you have been placed there by another, there is usually a fall from grace in their eyes. They realise that you are only human after all.
It is important to note that in many instances you have agreed to be put on a pedestal through your actions or lack of action. There are very famous people who refuse to be put on a pedestal, and have managed to maintain that stance for a long time. And there are people who love being put on pedestals, neglecting to realise that gravity and entropy will get them every time.
I have been caught by both situations. I have been seduced by the charismatic male that I placed on the pedestal only to later discover they are deeply flawed. And I have done this more than once.
I have been seduced by the male who thinks they belong on the pedestal. They don’t.
Quite frankly, I do not think anyone has a place on a pedestal, unless they are a statue, or a piece of art. (Non living, in other words.)
In my own work I made sure that anyone I was working with knew that I was a regular person. No better than. That my home was not on a pedestal. I was as much in the trenches as anyone. If I felt someone was artificially elevating me I would do what I could to strongly and gently remind them of my flawed humanity. It hasn’t always worked, yet I have deliberately strived to show up human first, ‘expert’ second, third or fourth.
And then we have platforms.
Platforms are places we build deliberately, and temporarily, to create a voice through the noise. If we feel we have something that needs to be said, then we might build a platform.
Platforms are not designed to diminish others, rather they are designed to reach others. A place to bring our art, our passion, our love..into the world. Being on a platform doesn’t make you superior, rather it enables people to access you.
Platforms – accessibility, connection, movement making, sharing, encouraging, humility, temporary by design
Pedestals – separation, superiority, isolation, domination, hierarchy, rule, permanence with intent (rarely allowed to be maintained by the crowd or nature)
You can start off building a platform and find yourself standing on a pedestal in front of an adoring crowd. And you can start off on a pedestal and step down to a platform.
What are you building? Know the difference. It matters.