Charisma in our daily lives

Lim Guohao

What is charisma? It is an imaginary superhuman aura, which was originally derived from the ancient Greek. It was first described as “the gift of grace or favour”. However, according to Rieff (2007), most people now regard charisma as a unique power or ability that celebrities, athletes, or even political leaders are equipped with. Not only that, this unique quality allows charismatic individuals to turn into objects of common attraction or appeal instantly, making people be attracted to them unknowingly.

By looking at the definitions mentioned earlier, they may seem to have a unifying theme. In contrast to this, Weber (1993) noted that, “it is not the presence or absence of charisma that is at issue, but different forms of charisma, or, differently stated, different types of claims to authority” (p.186). Taking Weber’s view into consideration, it is likely that not everyone is charismatic in the same way due to different contributing factors.

Firstly, with regards to the political arena, several political leaders are deemed to be charismatic. For example, America’s ex-president, Bill Clinton, had a flair for storytelling, which turned out to be an advantage for him, especially during the days when he was a governor. Boller (1994) stated that, “he had the gift of the true story teller, he could take the simplest event and, in retelling it, turn it into a saga complete with a plot and a moral, simply just by being himself” (p.383).

To illustrate, take the bombing that happened in 1995 at Oklahoma City as an example. Historically, people would protest against political officials when national crises arise. However, Clinton consoled and offered help to family members of the victims through his charismatic way of storytelling. Clinton assured the people with hope, and provided them with emotional comforts.

Through this, Clinton benefited greatly from the situation and garnered more support from his people. As demonstrated above, Clinton’s charisma can be likened to personal magnetic force that people cannot seem to resist; it was formed mainly with his ability to comfort his people through storytelling, especially during time of crises. However, charisma can appear in many other forms, the charismatic quality in Clinton is just one of the many.

In fact, research has shown that charisma is more of a subjective perception (Dubrin, 2000). Besides developing charisma through strong oratorical skills as observed through Clinton’s case, it can also be formed through extensive media coverage, a platform that provides large public attention. In the media industry, we often witness or experience the effects of the charismatic qualities that celebrities possess. Oprah Winfrey is a good example.Winfrey’sappearance on the television leaves a heartwarming and friendly impression on her viewers and instantly livens the atmosphere. Her power of influence can also be seen through her show’s high and loyal viewership. Winfrey’s talk-show co-host, Behar (2009) pointed out that Winfrey’s charisma “is an ability to make everyone feel like she cares — not just about humanity, but about them. She gives the impression that she knows you personally” (p. 143).

In other words, Winfrey is able to make her supporters gain trust in her easily. Her sincere care for others has developed a unique power to gather support easily. However, though Both Clinton and Winfrey’s charisma was built on the foundation of speech,Winfrey’s charisma was artificially produced by media publicity means, whereas the former was developed through real-life efforts. In short, the charismatic quality of different individual appears to exist in different degrees due to various contextual factors.

At this point, you might be wondering if charisma can only be found in people who are famous? Research has shown that ordinary people like us can possess charisma too. Givena recent study that Knauth (2008) has conducted with regards to religious activities has found out that, “young people hardly participate in each other’s religious gatherings, but if it happens they are most likely to participate in charismatic Christian community.” (p. 333) He further explained that this phenomenon could be due to positive experiences of the religion, or through the influence or persuasion by the charismatic youth leaders. The young leaders are able to assure and convince their peers on Christian ideals, in terms of the shaping of the individual’s moral values and their mindsets towards life.

Not only that, the young leaders are also believed to possess a power in them to make these Christian hopefuls to develop a special devotion for the religion, even before they actually join the Christian community. Thus, it is possible that ordinary people we meet in our daily lives are blessed with charisma too. Though partially motivated by peer pressure, the charismatic quality of these individuals will similarly produce the magnificent impact to others, just like what the celebrities or political leaders do. Furthermore, a rare discovery has shown that patients of Down syndrome were found to have “magnetic personalities that make others feel very comfortable to be around with them” (Ingersole, 2004, ¶ 4), given their positive attitude towards life. Down syndrome patients are always cheerful in their daily lives. They love interacting with people and greet them with warm hugs.

Thus, it is very likely that through these close interactions, a special charismatic trait has been formed in these patients and it will connect people together, without having them realizing. Besides, Smith (2004) also stated human being’s natural ability to sympathize often motivates individuals to get close to the charismatic patients, solely for altruistic purposes. Since charisma can be seen everywhere around us, it is very likely that ordinary people like you and me can possess charisma too.

As the world rapidly changes and social platforms get more advanced and easily available, people are believed to be more motivated to speak up, thus leading to an increasing level of interaction among them. Arising from such situations, we can possibly expect to witness a greater sense of cohesion amongst different social groups due to the different leadership and influence of charismatic individuals who are present in particular groups.

《三菜一汤 II》 趁热上桌!





每周将有2组艺人到他们喜爱的新鲜蔬果中心或巴刹,用20元的预算买食材、设计菜单,最后回到摄影棚用厨艺一较高下! 新系列,制作组还找来多位本地名厨当评判,口味更道地!

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JJ服装店 最想找小S代言 JJ Lin wants Dee Hsu to endorse his fashion brand!

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JJ自创服装品牌SMUDGEstore开拓新市场,与日本服饰品牌Devilock合作,邀来日本知名服装设计师远藤宪昭(Noriaki Endo)设计服饰。JJ日前为此特地回新,在服装店中举行记者会。



JJ回应说: “小S,因为她敢于做自己,不吝啬地分享自己的看法,更因为她的放心托胆去尝试新事物。”

今年5月,JJ因为声带受损需休息3个月。 隔了1年,原定在本月推出新片,但却因声带问题,被迫延迟至12月中才推出。 新专辑将有一首新歌是和圈内好友合作,JJ向媒体透露的三个条件让大家纷纷猜测,这位圈内的好友是品冠。Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 2.45.38 PM.png

933金曲奖主题曲 演唱人名单敲定

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今天在IMM购物商场举行的 “金曲奖主题曲歌唱大赛”选出了3位优胜者,分为陈美心、蔡宁轩以及张诒博,他们是经过2轮的严格试音活动后,从60多名参赛者当中脱颖而出。三位获胜者将连同两届校园SUPERSTAR资优生,也是《超级星光大道》PK选手的蔡艾珈以及黄智阳,演唱本届《新加坡金曲奖2009》开场主题曲《永恒的光辉》,为颁奖礼拉开序幕。






《新加坡金曲奖颁奖典礼2009》将在11月6日假新加坡室内体育馆热烈引爆。Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 2.45.38 PM.png


      日本首屈一指的数码品牌Epson扩充在本地的业务,公司在我国市中心设立第三家多媒体中心,为商家及消费者提供一站式的数字成像 (Digital Imaging) 服务。

       Epson东南亚集团主席Endo Koichi表示,“Epson媒体中心不止会展示我们公司最新多样化的数字成像产品,它更能促进我们与消费者的整体互动。”






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美声组: 康培中学、莱佛士书院

美腿组: 美华中学

美色组: 义顺中学

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品冠台上猛擦汗忘歌名 Victor Wong is nervous on stage!

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然而,当天的观众似乎太“理智”,让签唱会准时在1小时后结束,这也暗示品冠对于这次的签唱会,明显表示失望。这次的签唱会也为配合新加坡金曲奖2009而举办。据悉,第15届新加坡金曲奖将在11月份举行。Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 2.45.38 PM.png