We don't need another hero

Funny. Even as I was writing my post on Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi last month, saying how she 'shone out' for me against other leaders for her ability to act and speak with authenticity, I have to say that there was a little nudge inside me saying, 'Is this wholly true? Is this balanced?'And sure enough, a couple of months after her visit to Europe, Suu Kyi has fallen from grace in some circles, in her treatment (or, rather non-treatment) of a Muslim minority known as the Rohingya people.For some time, Suu Kyi (who has recently assumed a new role as a member of her country's parliament) has dodged questions on the plight of this people: a race who Myanmar considers illegal migrants from Bangladesh but Bangladesh also disowns - and who are widely suffering after fighting, in June, left 100,000 people displaced and countless dead. This has prompted rare criticism of the woman whose struggle for democracy and human rights in Myanmar have earned her a Nobel Peace Prize and worldwide adoration.Of course, as Maung Zarni, a Myanmar expert and visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, said in an article in US newspaper The Seattle Times this week: "Politically, Aung San Suu Kyi has absolutely nothing to gain from opening her mouth on this. She is no longer a political dissident trying to stick to her principles. She's a politician and her eyes are fixed on the prize, which is the 2015 majority Buddhist vote."And that's just it. As soon as she starts to speak and act out of an 'agenda' - the 'prize' mentioned above - true authenticity in the moment becomes impossible. Put simply, for me, the words 'authenticity' and 'agenda' simply do not belong in the same sentence.But let's bring things a bit 'nearer home' for a minute. Reading reports of how Suu Kyi, who some have called 'the Gandhi of her generation' was failing to stand up on behalf of her country's oppressed, I felt a kind of nausea in the pit of my stomach. Not a major one, but a nausea nevertheless. I had an attachment: I didn't want to see my heroine hit the dust. And I felt a sadness when I thought of all the broken hearts among her supporters in the international community, "the very groups who lobbied tirelessly for her freedom during 15 years of house arrest".This was quite clearly my stuff. This whole episode was a great lesson to me (and possibly for everyone that seeks to attach 'golden' qualities to others - from Nelson Mandela to Princess Diana). We pedestalise them at our peril ('pedestalising' being my term for it... it's quite a common theme for me),Hence the reason for my quoting Tina Turner in the title here. We don't need another hero. The moment we put someone else on a pedestal - 'they're more pure than me, more wise than me, more courageous than me...' then we're failing to acknowledge the fact that all those qualities are in us. Instead, we need to turn the mirror round and look at ourselves. We are all God (and no more or less so than the Buddha, Christ, or our next-door neighbour). We just need to acknowledge that this may be true and allow ourselves to unfold into it. Because when we are open to and acting from our authentic selves, we have no need for heroes (or for anyone else) to light our way - we provide our own light.You can read last month's post on Suu Kyi here. And you can listen to the title song here (the lyrics have no particular relevance - it's just fun to have an excuse for a boogie once in a while)