Letter to the Editor: In Response to “Idolization has too many negative implications”

February 25, 2020

My name is Landon Lowery and I would like to respectfully critique the Opinion section stated in the subject of this email. This critique is my opinion and mine alone.

I would personally disagree that “It is unhealthy to create such a hierarchy that deems other human beings more powerful than others.” It is no secret that through most of our lives we create this sort of “hierarchy” ourselves. Everyone idolizes someone, and to say that it is unhealthy is to go against our human nature. I believe that idolization and appreciation go together. For example, I put my parents in such a hierarchy. They are, by far, more powerful than me in terms of financials and wisdom. I appreciate and idolize their financial support as I grew up, and the wisdom they have given me along the way. The second point I would like to address (and the largest issue I would like to critique) is the bold claim that “no one stopped to think about the entirety of Kobe’s existence, and instead decided to perceive him as a very noble being.”

I believe this is a direct contradiction to your final sentence in the opinion, which states “Stop idolizing and begin appreciating.” I do not know if you have experienced a tragic passing in your life. My father passed away this last December, and to even consider exclaiming his wrongs in life so soon after his passing would enrage my friends and family. I would much rather prefer to appreciate my father for who he was and what he stood for rather than harping on his misdeeds. I believe Kobe Bryant is no different, for he is held in the same respect from his fans. For many people, Kobe Bryant was an idol of what an individual could accomplish. I have a handful of friends mourning his loss, and though I am not a sports fan, I sympathize with their grief. For when someone you love passes, it would be illogical to critique why they may be a bad person. Instead, one would likely remember why they idolize and appreciate that individual in the first place. To idolize the ideals which Kobe stood for, and to appreciate his love and dedication to the game.