It is all about the “i”; the “me.” Nothing else matters. Wherever one turns, this behavior is becoming more and more prevalent. This is at the individual level, organizational level, and even national and international levels. Where is this narcissism taking us?
Here is how narcissism goes. It starts with what I want. Then I justify these wants, because I want them. Not because they are right, not because they are good, but because I want them. After wanting them, I have to find a way to justify this want by having an excuse for it. Since I want it then it has to be right. Right? So, if I step on others, hurt them, it does not matter. It is about what I need and want and let everybody else suffer; family, children, friends, neighbors, and everyone else in the world. Actually the more people I can suppress and surpass to get what I want only shows how powerful I am. And that feeds the “me” in me even more. It is all about me after all.
The dangerous thing is that the ones plagued with this narcissistic mentality are the ones most driven to get what they want, and because they will use anything and everything to get what they want, they usually get it. So, the world ends up with managers, leaders, parents, teachers, that are narcissists. And we are seeing the results everywhere.
When countries live lavishly at the expense of nations in dire poverty. This is narcissism. When top executives get bonuses when fired from their corporate executive positions, and get bonuses and golden parachutes, when their employees are being laid off in masses, this is narcissism. When personal image, wealth, convenience, power, of leaders becomes more important than the people who voted for them, this is narcissism.
I am an optimist. I believe fairness, love, selflessness, kindness, and everything we love in humanity will prevail. Have you noticed that some look at these virtues as too “theoretical?” As if they are definitions that belong in a textbook, not a way of life?
There are people out there. Making a difference. Contributing positively. But one cannot help but be saddened by the level of narcissism that is out there in the world.
I am still optimistic and hopeful. But even hope, for some, has become a textbook definition.