How has hero-worshipping and praise-singing ever helped anyone?

There is nothing more nauseating and repugnant than listening to a hero-worshipping and praise-singing sycophant.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

What is more irritating is that there is never a shortage of them – to be found nearly in every sphere of life…right from the home, and inter-personal relationships, into religious organizations, and political establishments.

One never fails to come across that bootlicker – who never appears to have a mind of his own, but whose mission in life seems to always be praising and defending someone else, whom he considers his hero, who is infallible, and should never be criticized or rebuked.

In fact, he regards his “master” as a deity – a god – even seeming prepared to met out instance violent justice upon anyone who dares cross the “worshipping line”.

However, what I have never fully understood is why there are people who actually love to have these bootlickers around them – appearing to derive immense joy and satisfaction from persistently and constantly hearing their own praises being sang, which any other soul would consider maddening and irritating.

What benefit is there in having a hero-worshipping and praise-singing sycophant?

Is such an individual an asset, or actually a huge unnecessary liability?

Let us look at this from another angle…

Human beings develop and grow with each and every day – physically, but mostly in terms of knowledge, wisdom, and maturity.

Who I was six months ago – how I thought, perceived life, and behaved – should have markedly improved and developed today.

This should mean that, there were factors involved in adding value to my thought processes – which entailed, correcting and rebuking me where I was going wrong, as well as guiding and helping evaluate my life decisions.

Surely, what type of a person would be in my life, who could facilitate such development and maturity?

Clearly, this would be someone who tells me the truth at all times, who has the wisdom to see where I will be going wrong, and has the love to tell me so.

This is most certainly not a picture of a hero-worshipping and praise-singing sycophant – who would always agree with what ever decision I made (no matter how outrageous and erroneous), and prepared to fight all those who disagreed with me.

As such, between the two – the bootlicker, and the one who is prepared to rebuke me – who is a valuable asset to be around?

Who adds real value to my life?

Therefore, I ask again – why would anyone want a sycophant around them?

Unless, of course, we are dealing with an individual who has some serious self-esteem challenges, and needs his fragile ego constantly massaged and reaffirmed – who easily finds offence, and even angered, by those who dare criticize him.

Someone who knows who he is, and confident in himself, would insist upon and welcome those who can stretch him to the limit, so as to bring out the best out of him.

That is why, personally, I always put my contact details at the end of my writings, so as to encourage open and frank criticism, correction, and guidance – which, is what I desperately need, should I genuinely desire to improve in how I perceive the situation around me, and in the decisions I make.

Indeed, I am always greatly delighted with positive feedback – as that shows me where I am getting it right, and encourages me to continue – but, criticism and correction is equally important in bringing light where there was darkness.

That is why in all relationships that I have had the humbling pleasure and gratitude in establishing over the course of my writings – quite a significant number were of those whose initial contact with me was to criticize (some most forcefully) opinions I had expressed.

Nonetheless, the relationships grew as I valued such correction – which, I thankfully listened to, and indeed greatly helped me improve my understanding and thought-processes.

Which is why – unless, for the earlier mentioned low self-esteem reasons – I find it truly nauseating and repugnant for anyone to find comfort in surrounding himself with hero-worshippers and praise-singers.

Just a quick look at our political and religious institutions would leave one with a very nasty taste in the mouth.

What these bootlickers only manage to achieve to mislead their leaders into a false sense of approval – whilst, in effect, going in the wrong direction, and possibly attracting the ridicule of those around them.

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]

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