Signs of narcissism among college students have been rising for 25 years, according to a recent study led by a San Diego State University psychologist. Obviously, Mr. Rogers alone can't be blamed for this. But as Prof. Chance sees it, "he's representative of a culture of excessive doting."
This same researcher quoted elsewhere is concerned because these narcissistic kids “are more likely to have romantic relationships that are short-lived, at risk for infidelity, lack emotional warmth, and exhibit game-playing, dishonesty, and over-controlling and violent behaviors.”
We see the fallout. A young man dies by suicide, at least contributed to by his ingrained thought that he would make $80,000 right after graduation. Relationships without the thought of the work involved leads to self-medication and other problems contributing to deaths (accidents, suicides and homicides).
How do we pull this generation back? How do we prevent the next from falling into the same pit?
I like the part of the Alternet article about the need for “kung fu” (spiritual discipline and cultivation of the self). Equally important is the concept that “the self is best defined in relationship to others, a person among persons”. I know that parents must act like parents. I know that kids need to realize that they are kids and a lot of growing up requires hard work. That life is not fair sometimes. That just plain life requires hard work and a lot of stuff in it requires even harder work. Reality, what a concept. Those are the goals, but how do we get there?