You know the people, they want all the strokes, the attention, the glory. Their kindness is somewhat of a generous gift they give in their solitary world of “me”. They want notice, approval, and a constant audience of applause. Anyone who walks on the Goldens’ stages is escorted off by reminders that the stage is taken, and in no way could anyone captivate the crowd but them. They open the door for anyone who might challenge their grandiosity with a swift kick of unworthiness, and an appalling look of “How dare you?”
These collectors of praise and adoration live in all neighborhoods and families. They thrive on this notion of what I call “constant craving”. They want to be the only person in a room with a light on, and they want everyone else to sit in their shadows of “deservement”. In their reflections, they see perfect. They want to always be a few steps above with a moat between their steps and the steps below that others are climbing up. There is no hand offered to pull anyone across, and no welcome to their lofty spot. This spot belongs to them, and only them. This stage of overvaluation of self and undervaluation of everyone else is a tricky place to stand as eyes began to focus on the fraud of emptiness that can only be fueled by the praise and adoration of the unwitting fans of the egomaniac.
Maya Angelou’s quote, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time,” is the wisdom needed to not be a scapegoat to the overly vain preoccupied by their own space with no regard for the notion of sharing self. These self-absorbed shells never compliment, congratulate, refer, introduce, or take part in the rise of others. They want no challengers in their little ponds. They take great solace in keeping people in the spot they feel is deserving, and always, without question, in a lesser place than them. Eventually, those in their circles must accept their role of fawning and stroking, or leave the circles and find a stage for themselves and others who share in the theory that “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” This quote by James Keller is in direct opposition from those who blow out the candles of others in lieu of the constant need to fan their own flames.
These people may be born this way, but with certainty, they are raised this way. These are the children whose parents live vicariously through them. These parents expect, and then grant praise and public bragging. These are the golden children in families. They live for the constant worship from parents. The parent- child relationship revolves around the “you please me and rewards will be granted” mantra. Other siblings are second best, and the golden children go through life with a false sense of perfection and grandeur. These golden children impart an air to others of utter splendidness and virtuousness that is second to none…and yet, they are blind to the exceptional qualities in others. This insidious parent-child relationship travels through generations. The sadness is the unrequited expectations that can never be met, and the loss encountered along the way. Shakespeare said it best, Expectation is the root of all heartache, and this heartbreak crosses time and place.
The aura of entitlement in regards to “golden-ness” is also layered in darkness. In moments where the Goldens’ audiences begin to leave the theaters in exhaustion over the insatiable expected applause. When the glorious render their own as invisible, and when the Goldens begin to fade themselves as the reality of life tears at their stages, the darkness creeps in. The generational suffering can only end by those damaged in the realization of the psyche that appears golden, but is indeed broken.
Is it possible to fix the Goldens, or only the damaged? Can people who have been told the entirety of their lives that they are different, special, and worthy of a personal stage ever begin to accept that the world is a stage?
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts.
The most important task is to heal the damaged, and stop the generational repeat of the notion that some are innately better than others. That Goldens even exist or the label of scapegoat to those given little in expectation. The fact is, we are all golden, not eternally, not hourly, or not even daily, but in our best moments, doing what we love, and loving our unique way of doing our passions, we are genius. Sharing our genius and cheering the genius of others is the best of being human. My best advice is to ignore anyone whose expectations are roses for them and weeds for everyone else.
If you don’t heal what hurt you, you will bleed on people who didn’t cut you. — Unknown