Thought this was a great article and it is USED with permission by it's author:Lydia Brownback
Monday, June 18, 2007
Narcissism--we're all guilty to one degree or another. It's part of being human. It's part of being American.
Our narcissism is exposed in our obsessive thoughts about our weight. Retailers have taken our obsession straight to the bank with today's vanity sizes. Yesterday's 10 is today's 6.
It's exposed in the nail salons and the tanning booths that bookend every strip mall in the country.
It's exposed in our $150-every-eight-weeks hairstyles.
It's exposed in how easily duped we are by the promise of expensive cellulite vanishing cream.
Our self-obession hasn't made us a happier nation over all. Our French tips and all-over tans have done nothing to diminish the number of anti-depressant prescriptions sliding across pharmacy counters everyday. That's because the glances of admiration and envy we get for wearing single-digit sizes provides only a quick and shallow fix.
Narcissim is even more prevalent with our claims and possessions: My happiness, my goals, my desires, my rights, my family, my schedule. Me, my, I--it's what we live for. Self involvement breeds more self-involvement because it all just seems so normal. Think about the conversations we have around the water cooler or in the parking lot:
"Do you think I've lost weight?"
"Well, now that you mention it, you do look a bit thinner--not that you needed to lose anything. I'm the one who could stand to take off a couple."
"You? Don't be silly. Your still wearing a size 4, aren't you? What's the problem?
"Well, actually, I'm a 2 now. But I've only been able to get to the gym three times a week lately, so I've been worried about my weight."
Can we imagine holding a conversation like that in front of a missionary from our church who spends fifty weeks a year in tribal India? For that matter, can we imagine walking up to anyone we really respect and admire and asking, "Does this outfit make me look fat?"
"Of course not!" you protest, "Those conversations are personal and private!"No they're not. They're just stupid.
Wouldn't it be glorifying to God, and utterly freeing to us, if we made a pact to help one another recover from our narcissistic tendencies rather than remaining narcissism enablers? Come on . . . we can do it.
Posted by Lydia Brownback at 6:42 PM