Thursday, February 23, 2012

Me and You, Narcissism and Leviticus

How's my mental health today?

I have more energy this morning than I've had in over a week. On top of that I finally seem to have got over a stomach flu that's laid me out since Sunday night. That certainly is a positive influence on my mental health!

Over the past  4 days I've done a lot of sleeping and reading. Along with some brain candy, I've been reading newspapers, the book of Leviticus and I've made a start on a book titled, The Narcissism Epidemic; Living in the Age of Entitlement by Twenge, PH.D. and Campbell, PH.D.

Yesterday I read a column by a weekly newspaper columnist and was jarred by one sentence in particular, not because of its content, but because of its structure. The writer began the sentence with, "Me and the other board members..."

While it may appear to be a simple grammatical error, I see and hear so much of that 'me and you' language that I've come to believe that it is a clear indicator of the dominant social value of our culture - namely "Me First"!

That is remarkably contrary to the values I was taught (actually drilled in) when I was growing up. It is contrary to what Paul taught when he wrote to the church in Galatia, "You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love." (Galatians 5: 13)

'Me first' is contrary to what I read in Leviticus. The societal relationship laws in Leviticus proscribe responsibility, not rights; social justice, not selfishness; respect and love for others, not narcissistic greed.

When, where, and how did our culture get it so screwed up?

There are so many thoughts on these matter whirling in my head, I may take a few blog posts to sort these out.

I love what I do for a living, it's the greatest job in the world, but you have to survive an awful lot of attention that you don't truly deserve and you have to live up to your professional responsibilities and I'm always trying to balance that with what is really important.
  - Tom Hanks

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