Have you noticed how people in power feel entitled to special treatment? Some might label that type of person narcissistic and in some cases they would be correct. Regardless of the label, the trend is that many celebrities, professional athletes, politicians, and highly successful people seem to live by different standards and poor morals. These are the very same people who are supposed to be our role models and examples for our children to follow. Instead, they abuse their power and status to manipulate and take advantage of others. They justify and defend their actions believing that their behaviors are a perk for being the incredibly important people that they are. They also are convinced that they can get away with inappropriate behaviors because of who they are and the resources they have access to. This is true in some cases, but there are still ramifications for inappropriate behaviors especially when it is a repeated pattern.
The media world loves to highlight a fallen star, especially if that star has wronged them in some way. Ironically, negative media sells so we are constantly bombarded with famous people’s demise. Everyone wonders how could a person who appears to have everything (wealth, status, material possessions, and a seemingly good relationship) can self-destruct. There is no simple answer to that question, but some possible reasons have to do with them feeling invincible and untouchable. When people gain power through accomplishments, fame, and success sometimes they lose humility, accountability, and their moral compass. In other cases, they never developed these characteristics in the first place and don’t have a desire to change. Control and power can be highly addictive resulting in destructive behaviors and painful choices. Even a person who wins the lottery and becomes a millionaire overnight often struggles with similar problems. Success can make people crazy and lead to a life without boundaries and feeling superior to the rest of the world.
Is there any hope for these self-centered people? Maybe I’m the eternal optimist or maybe it relates to what I do for a living, but people can change and learn new ways. The hard part is getting the person to realize their actions negatively impact their loved ones and that personal relationships really do matter. The person needs to realize that significance has greater value than success and that involves having a positive influence on others’ lives. When we give back, stay grounded, have accountability, and lead a balanced life we can achieve success and significance. There are many successful people who have a heart for service and helping others which enables them to recognize that life is not all about them. Having a faith reminds us that we are not in charge of everything and that there is a power greater than us. Focus on using your time, talents, and treasures to help others, not just yourself.