There’s a great essay at Time Magazine by reporter David Von Drehle about the “extreme self-centeredness” and pervasive narcissism of our age. Von Drehle believes narcissism is at the root of the killing spree at Virginia Tech. As I’ve said on these pages many times, self-centeredness is the most natural consequence of our modern rejection of God. When we reject the King of Kings, we appoint ourselves the kings of the jungle — and there is no good reason why the universe shouldn’t revolve around us.
I’ve lost interest in the cracks, chips, holes and broken places in the lives of men like Cho Seung-Hui, the mass murderer of Virginia Tech. The pain, grievances and self-pity of mass killers are only symptoms of the real explanation. Those who do these things share one common trait. They are raging narcissists. “I died — like Jesus Christ,” Cho said in a video sent to NBC.
Psychologists from South Africa to Chicago have begun to recognize that extreme self-centeredness is the forest in these stories, and all the other things — guns, games, lyrics, pornography — are just trees. To list the traits of the narcissist is enough to prove the point: grandiosity, numbness to the needs and pain of others, emotional isolation, resentment and envy. …
Freud explained narcissism as a failure to grow up. All infants are narcissists, he pointed out, but as we grow, we ought to learn that other people have lives independent of our own. It’s not their job to please us, applaud for us or even notice us — let alone die because we’re unhappy. — It’s All About Him, David Von Drehle, Time, April 19, 2007
Worth reading. And then it’s worth asking some hard questions about how we are raising our children.
Thanks to Barbara Nicolosi at Church of the Masses for this link.