23 Rabi Awwal 1439 AH • 12 December 2017

Oscar – understanding the behaviour behind the tragedy

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As the world found out the fate of Oscar Pistorius, some people were still stunned. But world renowned human behavioral specialist Dr John Demartini, explains the tragedy of how, at the peak of their careers and fame, so many superstars fall from grace.

Discussing the mentality of humans in general, Dr. Demartini said there was a tendency amongst people to polarize famous individuals to one side, placing them on high pedestals without getting to know who they really were. With celebrities in the face of huge media attention, he said there was a risk that people would build up ‘false delusions’ around their heroes.

“What we forget is that they have another side. The reality is that everybody has both sides. I certainly do, and I’ve met with many celebrities and they all have two sides,” say Dr Demartini, who has written several bestselling books on his works.

He stressed it was unwise to get “rose tinted glasses” about celebrities, but rather to understand them, and have realistic expectations of them.

The issue was part of a broader case of humans having ideal and unrealistic expectations of having a perfect, one sided personality. This was despite the human behavior and personality being multi faceted. He said it was imperative that people calmed their pride and expectations and realized the need to appreciate themselves for who they really are.

“Otherwise we are going to set ourselves up for major depressions if we are not able to be this fantasy we are designing ourselves to be,” he said.

The constant media attention has often led to celebrities exuding a sense of pride over their successes and achievements. Dr Demartini said anytime humans failed to bring themselves back into balance from a state of pride, there was a risk that they would ‘attract a vent from without’, that would forcibly humble them. Superstardom and fame can be the very source of every living hell.
“We’ve all been in a situation where we been really cocky, self-righteous and proud, and then all of a sudden some humbling circumstance comes and brings us back down. This has been known through the ages as hubris, where we basically fall from grace,” he said.

He said he was a firm believer that if people chose not to humble themselves, the world around them would.

The ‘Blade Runner’ was this week sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for culpable homicide, following the 14th February 2013 shooting of girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The downfall of Oscar Pistorius has captured imaginations around the world over the past year. His murder trial is widely considered the biggest, and most publicized since the similarly shocking case of former American footballer, O.J Simpson.

With Pistorius having been in the peak of his life and career, Dr Demartini said it was likely that he would have had high expectations for himself, and anything less than achieving those expectations would have been an absolute ‘put down’.

Despite this, he reiterated the point that such individuals need not be caught up in pride over their success, for the risk of being susceptible to such major downfalls.

“If they allow the world outside to build them up and they start buying into their greatness, then they usually have this sort of crisis.” VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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