When I was a child, someone advised me to pick a series of heroes as role models. The advice was that I needed to pick the best of each because no one is perfect. One of my models was Martin Luther King Jr. who I picked because he was a leader with the determination to fight injustice with nonviolence.
His methods where similar to those of Mahatma Gandhi. Both of these men changed the world around them by drawing attention to their people’s plight in a way that created sympathy for their cause. Today’s protesters could learn a lot from them. Tearing down statues, destroying businesses and government property creates an equally violent response from those with opposing views. Mahatma Gandhi explained this as “an eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind”.
Both of these men had flaws, but their flaws do not invalidate their accomplishments. Christopher Columbus, Thomas Jefferson, Gorge Washington, Abraham Lincoln and others were also flawed, but they should be honored for their significant and world changing achievements. Another of my heroes is Jesus Christ. He was not perfect. When he was 12 he worried his parents when he went off to teach in the temple without telling them and he lost his temper and assaulted the money changers in the temple. Yet his peaceful teachings and sacrifice changed the history of our world.
None of us are perfect, so we must be capable of overlooking the imperfections of others while celebrating their accomplishments.