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December 10, 2015

Narcissism: Why America is No Longer Great.

studio tdes/ Flickr

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD): A personality disorder in which a person is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity, mentally unable to see the destructive damage they are causing to themselves and others.”

America, I feel as though we have become the ultimate narcissistic personality. It breaks my heart to watch this.

On an individual level and a global level I feel more and more that I am watching a nation of narcissists being bred. Are we all so consumed with our own personal vanities, prestiges, adequacies and powers that we are willing to turn our backs on our fellows who need our help?

I’m not. I will not turn my back on the world.

I feel we have become so willing to ignore the actions of our own government as long as nothing gets in the way of our own personal agendas. Many Americans refuse to see the damage we are doing to one another, because it would require sacrificing some vain beliefs that America is the end all be all when it comes to world policy.

Having an intelligent and rational discussion about these issues is nearly impossible. I’ve been attacked, called names and insulted when I have questioned people’s information and beliefs to try to gain understanding.

Our government has become a textbook narcissist. And the fact that we the people continuously duck our heads and resign ourselves to accepting it as it is does not say much for us. The fact that, as Americans, we allow our leaders to continue to inflict damage on us and the world, without so much as raising a voice in protest, makes us just as guilty as them.

We go comfortably about our daily business and can’t really be bothered with the state of the world or its people, because we are too worried about our work promotion, getting a job, our next trip, our car payment or a new cellphone.

I’m not calling for revolution, but shoot, can’t we at least have a human conversation about issues.

I watch as people scoop up the nonsense that is put out as “news” and swallow it down and cling to it as truth. Due to personal vanity, and the idea of our prestigious nation, they cannot admit to themselves that maybe, just maybe we aren’t always right.

I see that all of a sudden Americans on Facebook have so much to say about out homeless veterans that many people have been ignoring since the Vietnam War. But now, because some Americans are threatened by their fear of Syrian refugees, all of a sudden homeless veterans are being used as a figurehead for why we shouldn’t help Syrians. Is it possible that America has become so vain that we will idly stand by while others use our homeless to make their point against helping our fellows who are desperately in need?

The homeless vets are important, yet we will continue putting government officials into office who, time after time, will vote to cut the assistance and help they can receive. And no one says a word. I see a general trend; it does not go for everyone, but many. We only care about the less fortunate when it serves some selfish purpose of our own.

The world is going to sh*t, and I watch my fellow Americans not even bat an eye as they post pictures of their steak dinners, their new handbags or latest acquisition.

I feel as though many Americans are caught in the belief that their lives are worth more than other people’s. Especially anyone who threatens or inconveniences our way of life. It’s all just a refusal to see the consequences of one’s actions, as it might upset the applecart and demand responsibility.

This is narcissism.

I feel as though we are too concerned with our social media pages, our hashtags, our businesses and our own lives. We’ve all been guilty. I’ve been guilty, and I admit it. I have lived in the bubble of “I don’t care what the world is doing as long as it doesn’t affect me.”

I feel that as a society we refuse to see the destructive damage we are doing to ourselves and others. People I talk to are so full of hate, and spewing it everywhere—refusing to pause for a moment to hear anything contrary to the hate they are blindly clutching. This hate is not innate. It is not our natural state.

It is taught. Programmed.

And we can’t see that until something comes along and shocks us out of our blindness and into the true nature of things.

I know this, because I lived it.

I was full of hate and anger toward the world and everyone in it. Not a bigot, just straight hateful. I was living in hell, and I died there. When I came back I was able to see how foolish I had been. How limited in my thinking. And I refused to be brought back to living on a plane of hatred and intolerance ever again.

I understand it’s easier to stay comfortable, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy. My heart and soul no longer allow me to lounge in a comfort bubble while the world suffers. While my home suffers.

We hate because we fear, and we fear what we don’t understand. This is the key to peace in the world. Understanding one another. When we understand one another, no one can drive wedges of fear and blame between us.

I’ve been out of the country for some time, and I watch and observe from outside, yet I still say “we.” I am still American, and America is still my home.

Removing myself from the symptoms does not detach me from the problem. I no longer choose to ignore the problems because they are halfway around the world and aren’t affecting me personally.

I don’t get to just move away and say, “Oh look, see what America is doing now. How could they? Sigh, moan, groan…” and then go sit on my butt out in the peaceful Australian sunlight where no one lives in fear of getting shot up at any given moment.

It doesn’t work that way for me. I’m tired of the hate, the rhetoric, the blaming, the fighting, the shooting, the complaining, the moaning and most of all the lack of action. I will no longer shake my head in sadness at what is happening in the world while living comfortably far away from it all.

So I am taking action in the only way I have at my disposal: my words. I will keep love in my heart and I will fight with words, not violence. I will speak and I will write with the hope and prayer that somewhere the words of peace will take root and grow.

Fellow Americans, we are not each others’ enemies. We never have been. Remember in the last Hunger Games, Mockingjay, when Finnick says to Katniss, “Remember who the real enemy is.” This movie is the perfect analogy for all we are facing in our own realities as Americans. We need to stop blaming everyone who doesn’t agree with one of our opinions or lives a different lifestyle than us.

I used to yell and get really angry when people wouldn’t agree with me or consider my point. Now, though, it just breaks my heart to watch my fellow humans fight amongst each other with hate and violence, while the real enemies skulk along, taking advantage of our fighting to serve their own best interests.

This is merely a plea to all of us in the world to pause—just pause for one moment—and breathe before reacting in the ways of hate in which we have been programmed to act. When we can pause before reacting, and examine for a second what we are about to say or do, we often find that the initial reaction is not the one that fits best with our inner hearts.

That initial reaction comes from somewhere else. Somewhere external. And once we can see that, we begin to truly taste freedom, because then we get to choose how we want to respond to the world.

When a two year old acts like a little a**hole, I don’t blame the child; I look to the parents.

Just something to think about. This is all I ask of you readers—not to agree with me, just to pause, breathe, and think for yourselves.

Prayers and love my Dear Ones.

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Relephant Read:

Two Mass Shootings in 24 Hours: Welcome to Our New Normal.

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Author: Lindsay Carricarte

Editor: Toby Israel

Image: Flickr/studio tdes 

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