Western civilization – is this progress?

Guest Column

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders will come out in 2013. It is the go-to manual for those working with individuals who have mental disorders. The committee in charge of the manual has eliminated five of the 10 personality disorders.

One of those disorders includes narcissism, to which I disagree.

Their logic is a disorder disrupts order. If narcissism is the majority, then it no longer disrupts the order but instead becomes the order. In other words, with the majority of the American people being narcissistic, narcissism is now a characteristic of American culture.

Narcissism is contradictory to cultural living; therefore it is a disorder.

Culture is about all of the people, not specifically the individual. John F. Kennedy addressed this issue in his speech when he said, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” I like to switch out the word “country” for “neighbors.”

If a narcissistic majority makes it okay, then what of something like psychopathy? If it were to spread through the people as fast as narcissism, would they throw psychopathy out of the DSM?

With their previous reasoning, it would have to be thrown out. The majority of us would live with a lesser and shallower emotional spectrum. It would be like having all of the vivid colors stripped from our sight, getting used to everything being pale and being okay with it, not knowing better. So, what ought we to do with our narcissism?

We should all be aware of the fact that we have narcissistic tendencies. Most of us have a Facebook, a Twitter, a Flickr, an Instagram, etc. — a page of a website is dedicated to you. How many times a day do you check out your page and see what people said about or to you?

This, ladies and gentlemen, is narcissism. Though it seems minute in comparison to the rest of our lives, it is because we have a suspiciously small guise. We were brought into this world by two people, no matter who they are. Step one of annihilating narcissism in our lives is realizing how much we owe others rather than ourselves.

Let us make a commitment to add to our lives, to experience every color and live mindfully of ourselves.

J. A. Kingry

Senior philosophy major

from omaha, neb.

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