Charisma: May The Force be with you.
By Urban Vyaas
The Force in Star Wars was an innate person’s quality; you were born with it or not. You had it or you didn’t, and so it goes for charisma. When you’re a shy, retiring, socially inept introvert, there are little chances that you’ll ever become a charismatic leader. There exists only a little loophole to that; you can build some resemblance of charisma.
The cultivation of a resemblance of charisma needs you to balance between inviting other people in close and letting them feel your power by standing apart. Introverts should not discount the effectiveness of quiet confidence and the qualities that introverts bring to the table, such as empathy and independent thinking. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be straightforward about your introversion. Diversity is good. Remember that. Many minds and diversity among them make for creativity.
This blog invites you to accept that life is full of paradoxes. In this context I often like to quote the American poet Walt Whitman ( 1819 – 1892):” Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”
Part of Whitman’s charisma was derived from his self-reflexive humor, as illustrated by the previous quote. Self-referential humor is sometimes combined with breaking the fourth wall to explicitly make the reference directly to the audience, or make self-reference to an element of the medium that the characters should not be aware of.
Just as The Force, charisma has a “dark side”. I wonder sometimes if Sheev Palpatine was also telling to Darth Vader “May The Force be with you” when the camera wasn’t running.
The pen name Don Charisma refers to the “dons” at Oxford University, who’re lecturers and teachers. There are also plenty of places where it refers to the darker sides of the charisma abusers. Think for example at the Mafia Don, the Don Juan who uses his charisma to turn himself into a women magnet or the delusional Don Quixote who burns it to fight windmills.
And then you have the most dangerous of all of them: the demagogues. They’re political leaders who seek support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational arguments.
Modern demagogues include Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and Joseph McCarthy, all of whom built mass followings the same way that Cleon did: by exciting the passions of the mob against the moderate, thoughtful customs of the aristocratic elites of their times. Since the rise of Donald Trump in US politics, the word “demagogue” has been widely used in the press to describe him.
Luckily for the human race, history balances things out with the teachings of charismatic figures as Buddha, Jesus, Mohamed, Confucius and many others, placing them into the centre around which we model the lasting social conventions that rule our society. Their visions of reality go back to exceptional experiences of humankind at its moments of most refined insights. Rising up from the particular but stretching out to the general. Not many among us aspire for such a historical appeal.
Charisma: May The Force be with you. by Urban Vyaas (c) 8-Apr-2020 (Thankyou Urban)
Urban is a novelist, and you may be interested in more of his work, currently he’s doing a free novel promotion (for a short period, so don’t delay !) – https://maharajagar.com/
Thanks to Urban Vyaas, for this guest blog, which I’m proud to publish. He fulfilled every request I made of him, and then some. He’s a regular visitor and commenter on the blog, and we’ve become friends.
Hope you are safe and stays that way.