香山リカのココロの万華鏡:強がりな人ほど心に弱さ /東京

November 11, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Feeling upbeat and one's true character
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:強がりな人ほど心に弱さ /東京

Former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, on his final day at work, was asked by reporters for his feelings. He responded, "I don't have any (sadness), I feel upbeat."

Hearing this, I was probably not the only one to think, "When was the last time I felt upbeat?" Asking this to a university senior who still hasn't secured a job, they told me, "When I open e-mail it's a notice that I've been turned down and my family gets depressed. Even the soccer team I like isn't doing well. There isn't a single bit of good news."

Then, why does Ishihara feel upbeat? There may be a feeling of freedom from dropping the burden of governor, but I don't think that is all. The Japan Restoration Party's leader Toru Hashimoto said at the party's formation, "A big battle is coming," and Ishihara, too, may be feeling excitement about forming his own party and leading it into national politics amidst the current political turmoil.

Should we feel strength in seeing such political leaders, or be unsettled by how far removed they are from regular people's lives? I am of the latter.

Harold Dwight Lasswell, a political scientist who was influenced by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, writes something interesting in his book "Power and Personality." There are people in the world with a love for power, and they often become politicians, and according to Lasswell, many of them work for personal motives, such as overcoming unpleasant memories from childhood. He writes that these politicians cleverly use arguments for the public good to justify their personal motives.

I don't want to think that all the world's politicians are seeking power for personal reasons like overcoming inferiority complexes from their childhood and showing up the world. However, when I wonder if the fact that the stronger one looks, the weaker they are inside applies to politics as well, I find myself worrying about some politicians.

Of course, we cannot have only weak-willed politicians, but in these difficult times, I would like someone who doesn't forget kindness and compassion to lead society. Am I mistaken to want such a thing?

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2012年11月06日 地方版

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