So, here we are, the day after the election. Not much to do but wait by the phone for the official results to be announced. This is the worst part. The waiting.
This is also the time to look back. Whether you win or lose, there is a certain amount of self-critiquing that will/should happen.
What did you do that was ‘right’ and what did you do that was ‘wrong’. What changes or readjustments will be needed. You see, those of us who run for public office have ‘it’ in our veins. That certain something that wants to serve, for the betterment of our communities.
I think the first thing that a candidate does when the results are being tallied is ask yourself “Why do I care so much?” Why do we put ourselves ‘out there’ to be picked apart and criticized? Why do we attend meetings and do hours of research? Why do we get up early and go to bed late, when someone in our community needs us?
I don’t know. I guess I can blame it on my parents, who raised me to be loyal and honest and trustworthy. A workhorse. An empath.
When I say the pledge of allegiance, I say it with every fiber of my being. That’s why I do what I do. Because, that is what we do as American’s. We care about those around us. We want to lend a hand. And we do not care about getting glory! In fact, many run from it.
What did I do wrong during this campaign? What did I do right? Well, first off, I started late. I am one of those people that believe in offering help, never waiting to be asked. So, I campaigned alone. Maybe next time I will have some help. However, the personal touch can do amazing things. Shaking hands and kissing babies is something essential to your election hopes. People need to know you in order to make an informed and responsible choice. What did I do right? I worked VERY hard on this campaign. Little sleep, lots of walking and talking. These are vital, and I had a lot of fun!
In the end, it is what it is. You must be at peace with this. If I lose, I vow to try harder next time. If I win I vow to work even harder for my community. This I cannot change about me. I will never stop working in selfless public service because it is part of who I am. I am proud of how hard I work. I am fortunate that I can do this, the following of my passion.
Empathy is the capacity to recognize feelings that are being experienced by another sentient or semi-sentient (in fiction writing) being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion. The English word was coined in 1909 by E.B. Titchener as an attempt to translate the German word “Einfühlungsvermögen”, a new phenomenon explored at the end of 19th century mainly by Theodor Lipps. It was later re-translated into the German language (Germanized) as “Empathie”, and is still in use there.
It is important to note that the opposite of empathy is:
“Lack of Empathy
Indifference to others’ suffering
Some psychopaths are able to detect the emotions of others with such a theory of mind and can mimic caring and friendship in a convincing manner, possibly in an effort to exploit others. While some psychopaths can detect what others are feeling, they do not experience any reciprocal emotion or sympathy. However, some research indicates that components of neural circuits involved in empathy may also be dysfunctional in psychopathy.
Narcissistic personality disorder
One characteristic of narcissistic personality disorder is a lack of empathy, together with an unwillingness to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others, in order to maintain a secure emotional distance, thus protecting themselves from becoming vulnerable.
Enjoyment of others’ suffering
Sadistic personality disorder
The same ability may underlie schadenfreude and sadism. Recently, an fMRI study conducted by Jean Decety and colleagues at theUniversity of Chicago has demonstrated that youths with aggressive conduct disorder (who have psychopathic tendencies) have a different brain response when confronted with empathy-eliciting stimuli. In the study, researchers compared 16- to 18-year-old boys with aggressive conduct disorder to a control group of adolescent boys with no unusual signs of aggression. The boys with the conduct disorder had exhibited disruptive behavior such as starting a fight, using a weapon and stealing after confronting a victim. The youths were tested with fMRI while looking at video clips in which people endured pain accidentally, such as when a heavy bowl was dropped on their hands, and intentionally, such as when a person stepped on another’s foot. Results show that the aggressive youths activated the neural circuits underpinning pain processing to the same extent and, in some cases, even more so than the control participants without conduct disorder. However, aggressive adolescents showed a specific and very strong activation of the amygdala and ventral striatum (an area that responds to feeling rewarded) when watching pain inflicted on others, which suggested that they enjoyed watching pain. Unlike the control group, the youths with conduct disorder did not activate the area of the brain involved in self-regulation and moral reasoning.“
It’s amazing that in politics you see extremes of these personality types in action. Empathic individuals, psychopaths, and those with Narcissistic personality disorders! Extremes can be very scary. I have seen this in action, and believe we have a narcissist that is plaguing our city and stalking our city manager! What to do about this? We are working with law enforcement. And watching our backs. This is very tiring and unsatisfying. I think that an extreme personality disorder will burn out in time. Otherwise, the danger posed is significant.
As always, I am grateful for you Reader. Thank you for letting me share with you!