The World is a Stage: Starring and Subordinate Roles

By | July 8, 2012

In signing the declaration of war against Japan, Franklin Roosevelt recognized his subordinate role in an action initiated by Congress. His ability to move seamlessly between prime mover and supporting player was one of Roosevelt’s greatest political strengths.

Franklin Roosevelt, a man of considerable intellect and ambition was well aware of the dangers of an overarching ego. His cautionary remark, ”Remember you are just an extra in everyone else’s play,” has served me well on numerous occasions. If the leader of the allied powers during one of the most perilous chapters of history thought it important to remind himself of his subordinate as well as starring roles, how much more so for the rest of us. Even in my capacity as head of Schlesinger Pain Centers, it is important to remember that it is not always about me.


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