On most days I spend at least part of my day thinking about and wondering "where did it all go wrong" and "how did this happen". Too often I am quick to blame the politicians for the ills of society - they do too much, they don't do enough. Perhaps they are not the real culprit.
I heard a discussion the other evening that it was our school system that was the cause for cultivating our children into these 'too wonderful to fail' human beings that grew up to demand more and more because...well, because they were worth it.
Another says the parents are the ones to blame. Parents are too permissive, give excessive praise and overindulge their children.
True enough that sweeping changes have occurred in education over the last several decades, but do we blame John Dewey who saw schools as not only a place to gain knowledge but to learn how to live as well. Dewey said that the goal of a student's education was "to prepare him for the future life means to give him command of himself; it means so to train him that he will have full and ready use of all his capacities."
Prior to 1920 secondary schools promoted college preparatory courses only for a select few. By the 1970's growth of college attendance annually has grown by leaps and bounds. But with it also we see a growth in the "me generation" as emphasis swing from the fight for the greater good to one of "what's in it for me".
It is impossible to put a finger on the real culprit in this rise in our cultural narcissism, there are just too many variables. But it's important to acknowledge that it does exist and that it is a pervasive ailment that is having a negative affect upon our society.
This cultural narcissism exhibits itself in many forms, you need only to flip on the TV and it was seen in the Paris Hilton phenomena that soon morphed into the Kim Kardashian phenom. There were all the "Housewives" from Orange County to the Jersey Shore. And then there was the 'average Americans' the ones who believed they could afford the house that was 'too expensive', enabled by the greedy lenders willing to gamble other people's money.
Politicians and political candidates who also suffer from this narcissism that look in the mirror and see themselves as actually qualified to run for office. We need to stop, take and step back and reflect on what is happening around us not in the pond before us.
We are operating in a self-destruct mode that is not going to have a happy ending. And how can I say this?
Because I'm ME, that why!