Thursday, April 1, 2010

Enough and Narcissim

I just finished reading through two recently-published nonfiction books: The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement and Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty. The first book includes a lengthy discussion of the boundless materialism that is one expression of a narcissism epidemic in US society, while the other contains stories and information illustrating how nearly a billion of the world's people still suffer from hunger and malnutrition.

I found the contrast between the anecdotes and data in the two books both painful and powerful. Our nation as a whole comes out looking like a bunch of selfish, oblivious, uncaring...narcissists. It also strengthened my resolve to be grateful for what I already have and live thriftily so I can help fund causes like microfinance and humanitarian aid. We are not close to being rich by US standards, but our family has a full refrigerator and enough uncommitted cash to be able to share.

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