Being Noticed

Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk


The Need to be Recognized


Regardless of gender, of name, of accomplishments, most of humanity needs to be noticed, to be recognized, to be remembered.  Some folk have a greater urge than others, but nevertheless the need is there.  We see it in young children who scream, smile, repeat words and much more to be known and can be seen and noticed.  This need is seen at any age.  As adults some folks have a special talent, a special walk, are good “runners” or  have some other habit that is their own and differentiates him from the everyday human being, if indeed there is such a thing.

Why do people strive to show their strength, or are noticed for a particular habit or peculiarity that is special than the average individual.

The need to be special, to be different comes in all ages, colors, ideas and and, or ambitions

Why do some folk dye their hair in a very bright or unique color?  To be seen, to be noticed, to be different.  There are those who have a colorful pin with a band drawn through their lips.  It gives them attention and recognition.  They do not want to be the common everyday person in society.  They want to stand out, to be noticed and recognized. 

This is also true of people who want to have a political office.  The most exciting for many would be to be president. How thrilling it feels to succeed in possibly obtaining that very important office.  People fight for this often, regardless of the cost and effort that is hidden in that overwhelming ambition, and what effort, sweat and tears are needed to achieve that position.

There are those individuals who cannot achieve the remotest challenge to this and other important positions so they turn to being “Bayazzo,” a clown who is noticed for his ridiculousness, his colorful appearance, and his unusual acts.  Regardless of being ridiculed, he feels seen and important and different from the everyday Joe or Jane.  His looks and his acts make him special. 

For some individuals, due to the need to be special, to be noticed, to be unique, they will murder their fellow men.  They think very little of the consequences of their desire to be noticed and remembered, and will go to any length to do their “special deed” or “thing.

Actors are folk who take on the characteristics, the habits of another whom they portray.  The most skilled of these are the folk that look and act “real,” as the person that they are portraying.

An outstanding example was Adolf Hitler.  He did not have outstanding skills, was not particularly handsome or tall, felt unwanted and unnoticed, and given his pity for himself, his narcissism, became a sadistic individual who was noticed by the world.  The more people whom he could capture and annihilate, the happier and more attention he received.  He achieved in the deeds that which he craved regardless of anyone else in his path.  Only his own narcissistic feelings mattered. 

As human beings, we must remember that what we see in others is not necessarily who they are, or what their true belief and their reason is for their particular behavior.  We must carefully decide if that which we see superficially is the real person.  This is especially true in the coming elections.  We must study what a particular person has accomplished and exhibited in the past. Did he really carry out what he is presently claiming?  Will he do what he is promising?   Let us study the history of the person that we hope to choose as our political leaders.  As Jews, we must be especially careful whom we choose, and who will resist bigotry!


 Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of several books and articles.

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