I’ve been working on identifying my expectations of those I admire. Training artificial intelligence most of my life has taught me a lot about humans. The more progress I make, the more I recognize how amazing we are as a species. I’ve learned humans are individuals in every sense of the word. We all make mistakes. How we recover matters.
I ignored famous people while growing up. I had favorite authors but knew minimal if anything about them unless they were dead. I started noticing influential people who didn’t live in my world as an adult. I’m pretty sure Lisa Bloom is the first famous person I gave my attention. She worked for Court TV when I discovered her. She would share her thoughts and weigh in on high profile trials.
She’s since taught me a lot about ethics and behavior. It’s easy to draw tenuous conclusions about famous people based solely on what they choose to share with the public. I think the arrangement is suitable. Boundaries exist, and it’s super easy to adhere. I tend to admire leaders and artists; (performers, poets, writers, musicians, comedians, etc.)
I’m disappointed when people I respect mess up. It hurts in a manner I don’t know how to describe. (I think a parent might know.) This year has been trying so far in this regard. People seem to enjoy telling me which celebrities I appreciate voted for 45. I don’t understand the motivation, (mostly because I’m so annoyed by the behavior.) It feels like their saying, “Your ability to judge the character of people you’ve never met is lacking.”
Louis C.K.’s crimes made me cry. I honestly believed he was above that shit. The main reason I admire him in the first place is his excellent ability to use laughter to make me think. His recently revealed actions still have this result, but it’s not funny in this case. It’s pathetic. I haven’t read his apology because the gist was all I needed. He’s adult enough to admit his crimes.
Now what? This is where we all decide for ourselves how we want to move forward. I say this because I’m pretty sure there isn’t a right or wrong way to cope. Perhaps just right or wrong for each individual. I forgive Louis C.K. for being a predator in the past, on the condition he doesn’t do it again. If he lives the rest of his life without stealing another’s free will, I’ll be pleased.
I don’t expect perfection. I’m not perfect. Duh. Nobody’s perfect. (If someone ever was, we killed them.) The people who survived his disgusting behavior will decide for themselves where to go from here. It’s not my business and feelings are never wrong. I’m so proud of them for having the courage to come forward (in the second worst behaved (misogyny on steroids) industry on earth. The military holds first place.)
This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time. Famous or not, we’re all people. I just had to ask myself why I care in the first place. Then I realize they’re still the same person; my perception was off. Mistakes aren’t the end. They’re a new beginning during which time the flaw is faced down and corrected. Or not. It’s up to the individual at fault. What one does after enduring the consequences of their errors matters.
Every single person I admire makes mistakes. Stevie Nicks makes mistakes. Lisa Bloom, Michelle Obama, and J.K. Rowling have all made mistakes. Hillary Clinton made mistakes, identified them, adjusted, and grew publicly. She wrote a book about it. She could have blamed her mistakes on so many people and things, but she was interested in where she messed up because that’s what she can fix.
I want everyone to be as awesome as possible. I want you to be the best you ever. I want everyone to learn and grow into someone even more remarkable after recovering from a mistake. It can be an opportunity to improve, or an excuse to fail. Nobody can decide but the person who messed up, (which is everyone at some point.) I love Louis C.K. I recognized this before I knew he was a predator.
I don’t know how to unlove someone, and I’m not convinced it’s possible. I know Louis C.K. is capable of outgrowing his primitive mindset. He’s brilliant and thoughtful in some respects, despite everything. It’s up to him, now. I’m hoping he follows up his apology with fervent action to correct how he thinks and behaves. I hope he grows forward. It’s up to him. I’m rooting for him to evolve.