We're all somebody. Somebody's child, somebody's parent, somebody's beloved life partner. Being famous or loved by this crazy world is all sham. Be real.
"Reaching out" in the org and personal confessions...
Will try to address most points from this thread...
Wasanelder Once wrote:
"I liked to lead also. I liked it because I was good at it and it brought me pleasure to serve others, to give to them. There is something selfish in all we do. I don't feel guilty for being competent. You examined yourself and found something else, I get that. I, on the other hand, accomplished a lot."
I guess you really have to draw the line between competence in something truly beneficial...and delusional (being a leader for the sake of being a leader).
Someone could be excellent at giving talks, winning arguments, charm etc but to what end? To further perpetuate a damaging high control group? If wisdom at large and humility is taken out of the equation then a so called "good leader" may just be good for getting followers and nothing much else. Then what happens when this competent person is challenged and called out for the lack of tangible "fruits"? The disguised ego takes over and it becomes more about them than the purpose to give to the group. They start to see the people they "serve" as their own possessions, and God forbid anyone tries to steal them away (denounce the leader's direction) since the leader's sense of self worth is built upon this ongoing adoration/respect. Hence the reason why many exJWs who were in positions of influence in the org struggle to adapt to "normal conditions" outside it - they still crave the ego stroking of being a somebody (often trying to gratify it in other ways).
That's not to say that the motives are always bad. All I know is that I have swayed between various emotions, and still do - from desiring to help people (a creative and zealous altruism), to other humbling feelings of realising the gaping holes in my own life which brings me crashing back to earth again :)
Sorry it took so long...
"Yet achieving and having status is a significant aspect of wellbeing"
True, but that doesn't negate the fact that many are just delusional in their "power". One of the luring aspects of these responsibilities (no matter how beneficial to ones psyche) is the illusion that somehow you're important/special/necessary; "This congregation NEEDS me" kind of thinking.
In a secular environment this definitely happens, but not to the extent I saw in the JW religion.
I also found the ego massaged somewhat by giving Public Talks, which were enjoyed by many I was told, and I was a "requested" speaker for many other Congregations, even though I was simply a mere M.S
Exactly! Each time you excelled at something, it puffs you up even more, especially when you compared yourself to ones who weren't as "able". As mentioned, it's easy to start getting some Messiah complex, seeing yourself as a saviour to others. Maybe this is perfectly normal and natural human behaviour, and thus why greater things have been accomplished in the past. However, it's one of religion's greatest hindrances - stubborn refusal to take on board outside advise.
Glad you enjoyed some of the points! Now the big question, would you like to become one of my followers? Just kidding...
Yes I think it plays on ones ego whether you are humble/shy or very confident. For those without much self worth it gives them a needed boost to feel normal (e.g. like you mentioned about being "born again"). Although I wouldn't begrudge them this, except for when they elevate themselves above the rest of mankind.
"I was lost but Jesus saved ME....me me me me me me. It's not my fault he found me to be a special little snowflake."
"Being famous or loved by this crazy world is all sham. Be real."
I agree with that generally, however most people don't think of just fame in extreme cases - they translate it to their current situation. It is more realistic/viable. For example, the desire to be respected by friends/family. When it comes to the organisation the net is wider, it extends to the congregation. Since there's not much else to do in the org other than what they "program" into the adherents, the next best thing to feel accomplished is congregational responsibilities. With that comes the ego puffing, more-so for young men.
Using myself as an example - I was taking field service groups, reading at the hall, saying public prayers etc by my 17th birthday. My brother was a MS by that age, and at Bethel by 20. At that age you are highly impressionable. To me it felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders, I had to the the "hero" lol. My brother STILL is delusional (serving where the need is great, being the only elder in one congregation).