Posted by Karen Degen on 15th April 2013
A friend and I were talking about the bad behavior of famous people and how easy it would be to get like that if we too had people treating us like were truly fantastic. I find in my life that I have to work quite hard at times to be the person I want to be i.e. loving, forgiving and ‘nice’. I sometimes feel that my default setting is none of those things. I wondered whether it was the fact that I do work hard to counter those default settings when perhaps the famous people don’t. It reminded me of the Roman emperors who used to parade through worshiping crowds. It is said that an emperor was accompanied in his chariot by a slave whose sole duty was to whisper into his ear “Memento mori”, meaning ‘remember that you are mortal’. I love that! It would be so easy to get narcissistic or (excuse the colloquialism) ‘up yourself’ if you had people worshiping everything you said and did. If I get really famous I’m going to have someone in a similar role to the one that slave had. Someone to stop me getting ‘up myself’. It will have to be someone who sees all of my faults clearly and is happy to remind me about them. That person wouldn’t be one of my friends; in fact they would be someone who I feel uneasy around, because they don’t see me as I want to be seen, but as how I am. Those people are the most valuable ones to have around because they teach us so much. Like everything else in life there’s a fine line between loving and accepting yourself and having self-confidence, and getting ‘too big for your boots’ as my mother used to say. I don’t have a slave to whisper in my ear, but I do have a number of tools I use to help me be the person I want to be. If you’d like help to be who you want to be (rather than the default setting) let me know.