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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Subduing Narcissism

Why is there so much antipathy around? Most of it begins with I and then overwhelms the sea of mine and an exclusive ours.

I hate spinach, mom. Fine, don't eat it. I hate the school tie, mom. Well, take it off immediately after the school is over. I hate this, I hate that. Fine, fine.

Somewhere between the dusk of adolescence and the dawn of youth the animus gets directed towards the ubiquitous terrain.

Who is that guy hanging around with her? Did that person make a rude gesture. The directives from the school board make no sense. Idiots. Our politicians are potatoes. Or worse, jellyfish. Them damn ______(fill in your favourite group here.)

From the antagonism directed at immediate authority figures this segues to a loathing of distant authority figures that are only seen on the idiot tube. These foreign people and their leaders become the discarded tins in their path. Next, their aversion is directed to people - unmet - unseen - unknown.

A contemporaneous growth in angst, perhaps lingering subterraneanly rises now against the demi-gods - of institutions, city, society and the whole universe.

In this merry-go-round they learn to detest themselves. In extreme cases this manifests in mayhem and self destruction. Innocent bystanders become captives and end up as collateral damage and along with the perpetrators exit the stage horizontally.

This me-first selfishness is a manifestation of the growth of narcissism encouraged and bred by our self-absorbed and consuming times. I, me, mine - lone, aloof, removed from others under the garb of individuality. This preponderance of individualism at the expense of moderation and collectivism turns a stream of dislikes into rivers of vainglorious pomposity and unbridled antagonism.

Which one is better - narcissism or altruism?

Rhetoric aside, when narcissism is expressed in regional, national and international spheres it segues into an irreversible harbinger of animosity.

This is relevant for the holiday season. With merrymaking and celebrating our bounties, the wishes for peace and prosperity ring hollow when thoughts, smiles and wishes betray the actions. And the skating on thin ice continues.

Be safe. Stay Alive and healthy. Together!


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