The Guru Obsession: Why No One Is Qualified To Be Anyone's Guru
Whether or not the word guru is a regular part of your vocabulary, we all have people that we look up to in this world –and for good reason. Other people can be one of the greatest sources of inspiration, they can be one of the most helpful resources in a time of need and they can save us a lot of time by giving us the inside scoop on something they have a wealth of experience in.
But even someone who manages to provide all 3 of those things to you on the regular, in my opinion, can be a role model for certain behaviors or goals but should not be your guru.
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Before I go any further on this, I figure that I should at least define guru. According to Oxford dictionary the non-spiritually related definition of the word ‘guru’ is an influential teacher or popular expert.
I opted to italicize the word influential because I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of you that are reading this are far more frequently exposed to the term 'influencer' than you are 'guru'. And I'd also be willing to bet that at least of few of you also actively consider yourself one.
Whether you want to call it an influencer or a guru, the first reason that no one is qualified to be anyone’s either is that WE ARE ALL HUMAN. Being human means that we all make mistakes, we all change over time, we all have bad days, we all get frustrated and we all struggle way more often and with way more things than we are ever willing to admit. Therefore in my opinion no one has it all figured out and therefore lacks the qualifications necessary to state or have you in a position where you believe that they do.
The second reason I believe no one is a qualified guru, is that the process always involves someone being STRIPPED OF THEIR POWER. You may know that you’re personally far from having your shit together, but you are still fully capable of discerning what does and doesn’t jive with you. So if you’re interested, take their recommendations and try it for yourself, but do so with your power and critical thinking engaged rather than blindly assuming it’s great (and even worse telling other people that it is) just because the girl with 1.2 million followers said so. Your power should always be kept intact, and their power should never reach the point where they drastically shape other people’s opinions instantaneously.
The third reason I believe that no one should be anyone’s guru, is that every statement, view, and opinion shared by anyone should be viewed as completely separate from any other that they’ve made to that point. Meaning they should consistently HAVE TO PROVE THEMSELVES. I say this because it’s incredibly easy for anyone that’s power hungry to gain your trust and support by sharing their support for really broad causes or by repurposing largely beloved material. One second we love that person A is passionate about cleaning up the world’s oceans, and the next we’re buying a pendulum necklace they wore and recommended in an Instagram post a few weeks later. I’m not suggesting that everyone has a hidden agenda, but that we should never let anyone get to the point where we blindly follow every word that they say because that’s how cults are formed... and we all know how those tend to go.
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