An army of narcissists

An army of narcissists

I suppose it’s the right of every generation to look at the generation that follows it and analyze its faults. Still, there’s no denying that America is only get sicker over time, not healthier. Thus, the Washington Times offers a look at the current generation by an author who calls it “an army of narcissists.”

(Let’s concede that this is a generalization. You can’t fit every individual in a generation into a template. For example, the Greatest Generation that fought WWII and brought the country of the Depression also included lots of criminals and psychopaths and the usual dregs of society.)

What this author, Jane Twenge, who wrote “Generation Me : Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled—and More Miserable Than Ever Before,” is saying is that Americans born after 1970 have not experienced a world of self-sacrifice and denial, at least not to the extent that previous generations have.

Instead, they were raised in a culture obsessed with self-esteem and feel-good mantras such as “Believe in yourself, and you can be anything” and “Never give up on your dreams.” The result is a generation of youths who are tolerant, confident, open-minded, ambitious—and have wildly unreasonable expectations about how they fit into the adult world. “They expect to go to college, to make lots of money, and perhaps even to be famous,” Mrs. Twenge says. But when reality hits, and they don’t get the coveted college placement or high-paying job, or they discover the high costs of housing and health care, many members of Generation Me crash emotionally, she says.

Life isn’t worth living

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
8 comments
  • How is self-esteem compatible with the virtue of humility?  It seems too pharasaical to be a sign of good character.

    Is humility one of the forgotten virtues?  Has anybody heard a homily on it lately?

  • When they return home they will bring those lessons with them. And while their fellow twenty-something Gen-Mes are spending their days and nights playing the latest X-Box game in their parents’ basements as part of their extended adolescence, these heroes will return home and perhaps they will pull this generation’s fat from the fire and become the nation’s next round of leaders.

    You nailed it.  The War vets are already starting to run for Congress.  The war vets will insinuate themselves into every corner of the American social fabric.  They will be favored over their sulking, living-with-Mommy, non-veteran counterparts.  (Reference the first ((maybe second?)) season of Donald Trump’s show when he chose Kelley, the West Point grad. He cited Kelley’s military experience again and again and again.)

    No offense to anyone but I divide men into two groups: veterans and non-veterans. The difference is palpable.

    There was a point when this country was on the verge of turning Roman Catholic.. it was called the Fifties.  My theory is that these hundreds of thousands of men came home from WWII and they knew death and cherished life. This horrified liberals, they hid in colleges and cafe’s, became beatniks … later full blown hippies .. and the rest is history.

  • One of my co-workers has an 18 year old who just about had a nervous breakdown for fear of not getting into the right college. This kid has been raised in a low stress, high praise environment. She’s been taught that she’s wonderful all her life and faced witht the possibility that she might not get what she wants she crashed. When I think of all the problems and little disappointments of a normal life this seems shocking to me. We’ve raised a generation of really emotionally fragile kids and that aint good.

  • I’m under 30, married, have two children with another on the way, I own a home, my husband and I have post-graduate degrees. Many people compliment me that I’ve accomplished alot, but to get that you can’t have a lot of material baggage.

    I still drive the same 95’ Chevy. I don’t have an Ipod. I don’t have cable. I have dial-up. I have a pre-paid non-camera cell phone for emergency use only. I own two pair of jeans, a handful of shoes, one handbag and a few nice suits when I use to work.

    It is really obnoxious when women excuse men’s behavior for their extended adolence. I’ve heard that 28 is the “new” 18.

  • I’m not sure who’s confusing humility with modesty, but I would describe humility is seeing yourself as you are. The word’s root derives from the word for “dirt”. In other words, it’s being grounded—in reality.

  • I am only 25, and am fortunate to have parents who taught me when I was young how valuable a good work ethic is.  I never got a pure “allowance” – we always had to work for money.  We didn’t hurt for the necessities of life, but that’s because my parents made sacrifices for us.  Yes, they did put us in Catholic high schools, and yes, the did put us thru college.  For that I am grateful.  They always supported us, praised us when we deserved it, but they weren’t afraid to tell us that we were wrong (aka NOT perfect.) 
      That (IMHO) is one of the biggest problems with children and teens today.  Their parents make them think that they can do no wrong.  They are totally unable to handle the slightest criticism.  This will be a huge problem when they find out that a $100k/year job doesn’t come easily, and that Ivy League schools won’t accept you because Mom and Dad think you’re the smartest kid around.  This narcissism can/will lead to much worse things down the road.

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