A number of weeks ago I referenced noted and famous psychoanalyst Michael Maccoby in a sermon. He works with people who have “big personalities”. In other words, the article was entitled “When leaders are narcissists”. Narcissism is, of course, about people who think about themselves and their own needs.
The term comes from Greek mythology. Narcissus looked into a pool, where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus lost his will to live. He stared at his reflection until he died. Narcissus is the origin of the term narcissism, a fixation with oneself and one’s physical appearance.
You don’t have to go very far to find people we could label as narcissists. Everyone from Franklin Roosevelt to Napoleon could fall into that category. I would even suggest that each of us could qualify at times. The key seems to be that successful people move from concentrating on their reflection in the pool to seeing other people instead of themselves. Jesus always suggested that we look beyond our own image to understand and appreciate others. In my own life I have discovered that when I look away from the mirror, there is a whole exciting universe of wonderful and enriching people that can enhance my outlook not only on myself but on what it means to be a spouse, father, pastor, and person. Take a reality check and look at your own narcissism.