"Imagine a country where everyone acts like a reality show contestant — obsessed with power, status and appearance, and is comfortable manipulating others for their personal gain. 'I'm here to win not to make friends' would be the national motto." That suggestion is from an article on the website of the American Psychological Association by Sadie F. Dingfelder on the upswing of the personality disorder of narcissism in America. It has become one of the hot button topics in psychology.

Those who have studied this phenomenon blame parents who have gone overboard in spoiling their children and giving them a sense of entitlement. The Internet "encourages people to constantly promote themselves — and broadcast the minutiae of their lives — on blogs and through social media." Researchers have found an increase in materialism as another sign of narcissism.

In our readings, we have come across many treatments for this disorder: character education in homes and in schools; quieting the noisy ego through paying attention to the wider social connections to the world; service to your community; and the spiritual practices of humility, empathy, and self-nurturing (which encourages a healthy self-love).

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