By now, members of the Me (parents), or Me Me Me Generation (children of Baby Boomers) who might be reading this series of posts have become angry and may accuse me of being an idiot and even a racist for daring to say too many white parents have raised a generation of narcissists—about 30 million. Of course that leaves 50 million that were not raised by parents obsessed with the self-esteem of his or her child.
Here’s the rub, over a thirty year period, I saw it happening in my classroom. I don’t need the studies that Joel Stein refers to in his Time Magazine piece. I taught about 6,000 students in the public schools from 1975 to 2005. In the 1970s the self-esteem narcissist epidemic was just getting started and in the late 70s and early 80s, many of my students cooperated in the classroom, read the short stories, read the books and actually studied and worked.
Then we come to the 30 million, because if you are perfect, why read, why study, why work? If the teacher isn’t entertaining the students and students feel bored, why pay attention, why cooperate? And narcissists are very loud and sure of themselves—in fact, they are convinced that everyone else is wrong.
It may even be too late to fix what’s broken, because there is an industry that feeds this cult of self-esteem and it may be impossible to stop this terminal illness from killing our culture through narcissism.
But maybe it isn’t too late, because we don’t see this obsessive level of narcissism among most minority parents and children, and it has been predicted that minorities will be the majority by 2043. Maybe America’s minorities—along with the few white parents who aren’t inflating the self-esteem of their children—will save this country by not raising children to grow up and become sociopathic narcissists.
What has the price of inflated self-esteem been so far? To find out, I suggest you read Joel Stein’s piece in Time Magazine—the May 20, 2013 issue.
– a few facts for thought –
In 1950, the U.S. suicide rate for ages 15 – 24 was 4.5 per 100,000. These suicides were from members of the Greatest Generation born 1901 – 1945.
In 2005, the suicide rate for ages 15 – 24—all white members of the Millennial generation—was 10.7 per 100,000 (an increase of 238% compared to 1950), but for nonwhites of the same Millennial generation, that number was 7.4 and for Blacks 6.7 per 100,000.
However, for Baby Boomers, the U.S. suicide rate decreased in 2003 compared to 1950. In 1950, suicide for ages 45 -54 was 20.9 per 100,000 compared to 15.9 in 2003—the Baby Boom generation.
Note: suicide rates increase dramatically after age 45 but have improved significantly since 1950. In 1950, the suicide rate age 65 years and older was 30 per 100,000. In 2003, the suicide rate for the same age group dropped to 14.6 per 100,000. Source: Suicide.org
The Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers were not raised by self-esteem obsessed parents. Therefore, has the cult of self-esteem practiced mostly among white middle-class parents of the Baby Boom generation caused the increase in suicides to more than double for white Americans born to the Millennial generation or is that just a coincidence?
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.
His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.
And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to kill Americans.
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