How special are you?

February 27, 2007 at 8:04 pm (Pop thoughts, Random thoughts)

One of the most humiliating moments in my life came during a Sunday school class in high school. The class was broken up into groups of three people and told to simply “talk”. “Have a conversation with the other members of your group. ” While the groups were talking amongst themselves a fourth individual sat on the outside of the groups, silently writing throughout the 5 minutes of discussion. we had no idea what this fourth person was writing, we were told to ignore them, pretend they weren’t their, and just talk like we would normally talk. So that is what I did.

Not until after the 5 minutes were up did we find out that the job of the quiet observer was to mark every time an individual said the word, “I”.  Baisically it was a trap set up to expose the most self-centered individuals in the class.

You would think the teacher would have enough decency to not expose the individual who thought of their life as the single most important topic to talk about, but she didn’t. She read off the list from bottom to top and with each passing name I thought to myself, “oh please don’t let me be the top, please……” This was one game I didn’t want to win. Nevertheless the list got smaller and smaller until the last name mentioned, the most selfish individual in the room for that day, the most likely to vote for himself as most likely to succeed, the winner/loser of this horrible  exercise was none other then me.

Oh how I wish i could forget that day. It was horrible. I made up some excuse about how I was matched up with two shy people who didn’t wish to talk and how it was imperative for me to say something in order for any kind of conversation to take place. Looking back, I realize even if they were shy, I still could have directed the conversation to something OTHER than myself.

Now every time I write or say “I”, “me”, ‘my” or “mine” I think of that day. I considered for a time doing everything in the third person, but Daniel figured that might actually accentuate his arrogance.

It is a dark day indeed when you are confronted with the reality of how highly you think of yourself and how infrequently you think of others.

But the worst is yet to come. Our society is building more and more kids like me. A report yo be discussed tomorrow at SDSU finds that (shocker) kids are becoming more and more narcissistic, and that (even bigger shocker) we are to blame!

Take a minute and read this story on foxnews, that discusses not only how we have gotten here, but the negatives of what here really is.

The scariest part of it all is the last line when college sophomore Kari Dalane defends the selfishness of her and her peers by saying, “It would be more depressing if people if people answered,’No, I’m not special.'”

AHHH! Why would that be depressing? Why would it be depressing to realize that you are just like everybody else?

Do you think it’s too late to correct the absurd logic behind the “me first” mentality? What can we do?

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10 Comments

  1. Pablo Honey said,

    Myspace dude. Myspace is the narcissistic internet mecca. I admit to having a myspace page, but it contains very little info about me and only pictures of my beautiful baby. Some of the pages on myspace make me physically ill, they are full of people gushing about themselves with pictures of themselves striking model poses. We need to collaborate on NotMySpace; a site where we can tear ourselves down and all comments left by others must be cruel and derogatory. Thoughts?

  2. itsasecret2u said,

    a site where we can tear ourselves down and all comments left by others must be cruel and derogatory

    Pablo, that’s what Daniel uses this site for. JUST KIDDING.

    I agree, myspace is SUPER-narcissistic. But isn’t it really something that is indicative of our state of selfishness, not something that is causing our state of selfishness?

    I read an article from the UT about our generation some months ago: Generation Me, they call it, created by Boomer parents. Do people our age ever recall a time when “self-esteem” wasn’t a part of our vocabulary? I sure don’t. I was even told to “nurture my inner child,” which was of course very confusing as I was still an “outer child” at the time.

    Anyway, I don’t know what can be done. Make different choices with our children? Teach them different things? Make different choices for ourselves, personally? That’s probably about it. The love affair that our society has with psychology is a HUGE part of the cause. It’s all about self: self-help, self-discovery, self-worship. Until that ends, this trend will continue.

    I remember being very impacted as a freshman in high school, sitting in my English class with a teacher I loathed. He was cruel and earned the not-so-affectionate nick-name “The Grammar Nazi.” However, one of the first assignments he had us do was a paper on another phrase we always heard growing up: You can do anything you want to do, be anything you want to be. He made us examine the ridiculousness of this statement, though he was speaking to a room full of Ivy-league-bound honors students. Needless to say, most of my fellow fourteen-year-olds were astonished. This was probably the first time most of us had been informed of our own limitations and insignificance. That’s pretty sad.

    Anyhoo… is anyone else disturbed by the ever-growing trend of little girls parading around in shirts with such kicky statements as, “It’s all about me,” or “Diva-Princess-Goddess?” Just checking. Though I cannot claim to be entirely innocent in this area. My two-year-old does have a shirt that says “Future Heartbreaker.” Sorry.

  3. itsasecret2u said,

    P.S. I hope post-length isn’t any indicator of a person’s level of self-worship… Oh well. If it is, Echo still has me beat nearly all the time. 😉

  4. danielbalc said,

    How crazy is this. Check out the link my wife just sent me in my e-mail.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17349066/

    Yeah, we are on the same wave length!

    This link is better because there is a poll you can participate in. The results are actually quite surprising.

  5. Psycho-Babble « The Secret is Out said,

    […] Filed under: Musings — by itsasecret2u @ 4:29 pm It was really weird to read Daniel’s blog today because I see it as being in line with the blog I was planning for […]

  6. itsasecret2u said,

    WEIRD!! I put a link to your blog in my post and it made a comment here!! ???

  7. Albino Hayford said,

    You’ve seen it before, but it’s worth another look after reading that revolting msnbc article: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScWdek6_Ids

  8. itsasecret2u said,

    Albino… that video disturbs me!

    But it totally reminds me of when my oldest was a baby and I’d rock him and sing to him. He got sick of typical “Rock-a-byes” quickly, so I starting singing worship songs to him, until I realized that, gazing into his little baby eyes, it looked like I was singing worship songs TO him. lol Oops.

  9. Echo_ohcE said,

    What disturbs me, Daniel, about the poll is that 70% say that kids today are very self absorbed, but only 15% say that teaching kids they’re special is not a good strategy. Meanwhile, 73% think that “coddling” them TOO much can have negative effects. So now you have everyone thinking that too much is bad, and probably leads to kids being too self absorbed, but meanwhile, they apparently seem to think: “I know when too much is too much. The problem with kids today is not me, but everyone else who doesn’t know when too much is too much. I know exactly where the line is, but never cross it.” Like parents, like children.

    But this is indeed an old problem:
    Gen 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

    It’s all about me, me, me. God who?

    Good for food: for my belly…
    delight to the eyes: for my aesthetic tastes…
    make one wise: self improvement…

    It’s all about me, me, me, the fundamental error of fallen man.

    E

  10. Echo_ohcE said,

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