Deeply embedded in today's culture, narcissism has crept into our children's mentality like a thief in the night, actually robbing them (and everyone around them) of much dignity and happiness.
Young people spend hours every day updating their Facebook pages, post and e-mail countless pictures of themselves, and plug their ears with music to create a self-indulgent existence shut-off from everyone around them. I recently went online and viewed the page of a friend-of a-friend-of a-friend-of my daughter's on Facebook and discovered literally hundreds of pictures of the girl posing like a super model.
Where are our children learning to be so obsessed with self? From adults, of course.
In 2006, Time Magazine voted "You" as the "Person of the Year". And why not? Peruse the popular magazine covers and they are all about indulging in your own desires and fantasies. Just watch television for a couple of hours and you'll walk away feeling as if you owe it to yourself to have an affair, spend lavishly on yourself, and be your "own man" at the expense of everyone else.
And then there's the American obsession with pornography - the ultimate objectification and degradation of other human beings. Men, women girls and boys are all there for your personal pleasure in millions of websites, advertisements, shows and publications.
Just look at the economic mess we are in. Too many spent way beyond their means on trinkets and toys and demanded the best when their budgets could afford what was "only" good enough. They bought homes and cars and gadgets a plenty, with the swipe of an interest-only loan or a "special low introductory rate" credit card. America is largely an entitlement society where we demand that the government provide us with health-care, retirement, and a comfortable life, with no concern of who will pay for Utopia.
And then there is the phenomenon of abortion on demand, without apology, through the ninth month of pregnancy. Have all the sex you want, with whomever you want, and if you get pregnant, just "terminate" it regardless of how the father may feel. And the baby? What baby? It's just tissue - remember? How convenient.
Our kids see our selfish, irresponsible ways and learn the lesson, 'It's all about me."
When our culture is all about "My body, my career, my choice, my, my, my, what is a parent to do?
Thankfully, we've known the answer all along: Practice the Golden Rule.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."