Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I've been writing about the need for increased empathy in an age of increasing technology and not surprisingly, the issue of narcissism is relevant, because a narcissist often lacks the ability to empathize. And lo, AlterNet has a fascinating article about our culture's love affair with narcissism. It details sociologist Christopher Lasch's groundbreaking 1979 book, The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations.

"Lasch, in a 1990 afterword to The Culture of Narcissism, wrote, 'The best hope of emotional maturity, appears to lie in a recognition of our need for and dependence on people who nevertheless remain separate from ourselves and refuse to submit to our whims. It lies in a recognition of others not as projections of our own desires but as independent beings with desires of their own.'

"Most importantly, Lasch said, 'The world does not exist merely to satisfy our own desires.'

"True words, indeed. And now, to heed."

Sounds like required reading for the Boomer, Me, X, Y and Z generations. That is, if the younger ones can tear themselves away from MySpace.


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