narcissism

a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration; self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects. – Apple dictionary

This is exactly what I am trying to not be. I’ve seen it happen to other people who have been elected. It would be easy to do. Elected people are privy to a lot of privileged information. We are expected to learn about the issues we deal with. We are provided packages of background material, workshops, and expert advice. We talk with people outside our normal social circle. All this extra input can change an elected person’s perspective. It can also make us feel as though we have a perspective that is more knowledgeable or more enlightened or more important than the common Joe. It becomes a self-perpetuating trap – the more we buy into the pomp and privilege of the responsibility, the more isolated we become.

From observing others over the years in the same role that I am in now, I know it is important to not define myself with my title. It is also very important to understand the difference between colleagues, associates, and friends. But most important is to always remember that it would be highly unusual to be the smartest person in the room, and likely always possible that my assumptions could be proven wrong. I’m hoping that remembering this will inoculate me from two debilitating political diseases: distended ego and narcissism.



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