I knew that the impeachment trial of William Jefferson Clinton was in good hands when I saw the Chief Justice, William Rehnquist, enter the Senate chambers wearing his black robe adorned with gold chevrons. Prior to that day, I confess that I thought of him as just a nondescript judge. He got the idea of adorning his robe after watching a musical where one of the characters wore these embellishments on his robe. Any person free enough to try something new like that isn't as stuck in the legal mud as I once thought. What intrigued me the most was that a Chief Justice would be confident enough to add something to adorn his uniform.
We have plenty of other examples of people who listened to a different drummer when it came to outfitting themselves. Even though Dennis Rodman no longer wears the Chicago Bulls' uniform, he still festoons himself in his own unique flamboyance. In addition to Dennis, there have been others. General George Patton sported his pearl-handled revolver and General Douglas MacArthur added an over-sized corncob pipe and scrambled eggs on his hat. Dennis and the generals might be regarded as a little eccentric; however, William Rehnquist doesn't fit that mold. The Chief Justice was able to see something that he liked and said, "Hey, I bet that I would look good with those gold chevrons" (or words to that effect).
While some may think these affectations of the Chief Justice, the Generals, or Dennis to be a little much, I don't-especially when it comes to Rehnquist. You and I are more like Rehnquist than we are the others. We tend to be on the conservative side of flamboyant.
Think for a moment about your vocational uniform. You may wear work clothes or business clothing. Or your clothes may be an actual uniform like those worn by a nurse or a police officer. Whatever you wear when you work, think about something that you could add to your uniform to make your unique statement. If it's okay for the Chief Justice to adorn his uniform, why not at least consider adding something to yours?
For example, if your uniform consists of work clothes for farming or factory, what could you add to it to give it your own personal flair? It could be a funny item that merely brings a smile to you and others, or it could be something that adds a little color or beauty.
I was so intrigued by this concept that I tried out the idea on my family. To be honest with you, it didn't fly or even get off the ground with them. I couldn't get anyone to even hypothesize about what they would add to their apparel.
Still convinced that I had a good idea, I have tried to understand why my family thought this was a dumb concept. Perhaps they are victims of sameness and locked into their fashion straightjackets. My idea is an attempt to free them and all of us from the lock step of conformity. I am not suggesting that we go overboard-just something little to make a unique personal statement.
Beyond this, I believe that this self-adornment concept is a good idea for psychological reasons. Some may view the Rehnquist accruements as signs of narcissism and therefore reject it. They would say that self-love and stroking oneself would lead us to become more self-indulgent than we are already.
In all my years of counseling, I haven't treated many narcissistic people. However, I have treated hundreds that possess low self-esteem. I believe that what is needed by all of us is a good dose of self-love. If we don't love ourselves, how can we really love others? You can't share something that you don't already possess. I think that we would be a lot happier and healthier if we indulged in a little self-love. One little step toward creating a more loveable self would be to do something for yourself like adding an article to your work uniform. Indulge yourself. Follow Rehnquist's lead. After all, if it's good enough for the Chief Justice, it should be good enough for you and me.