Think of the greatest among us and a pattern will emerge. For those who’ve done something truly valuable in life, one characteristic that stands out. Somehow, in some way, they’ve been interested in doing something for others.
I’m not talking about the preening and PR initiatives that drive some accomplishment, of course – the self-promotion behind Academy Award lobbying or magazine cover stories proposed by highly paid publicists. But the true contribution of photo-op shy individuals and groups that truly makes the world a better place. For underlying all of this type of accomplishment must be a high degree of selflessness, of forgetting oneself in the service to the good of others.
And we all know people like that who put aside their own glory a little to come to the aid of a greater purpose. Even if they receive personal recognition in the process.
Erich Fromm considered the main condition for the achievement of love to be overcoming our narcissism, and it’s this we’d like to dive into today.
Narcissism, Shame and the Inverted Sense of Freedom, today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.