The Culture of Narcissism

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The Culture of Narcissism

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In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a young man who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. It is from his name that we get the word narcissism, a love for oneself.

Christopher Lasch, author of The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations, contends that consumerism has gotten a lock on the American psyche through the drowning in momentary pleasures and trivial pursuits.

"The pursuit of self-interest, formerly identified with the rational pursuit of gain and the accumulation of wealth, has become a search for pleasure and psychic survival . . . ," he wrote. "To live for the moment is the prevailing passion—to live for yourself, not for your predecessor or posterity" (1991, pp. 30, 33).

This fact has not been lost on modern media. In fact, they have helped create this exact situation. Our children and young adults are being bombarded with the notion that life is governed by luck, not by hard work, education and focus. If you don't have what you want, you can urge or compel others to give it to you.

Such is the culture of narcissism, an excessive love or admiration of self. And where do you find the source of such unrealistic brainwashing? You need look no further than the nearest TV or radio. GN