I recently worked through Jean Twenge’s Generation Me. (Thanks to Scot McKnight for the recommendation.) To quote the subtitle, it explains “why today’s young Americans are more confident, assertive, entitled–and more miserable than ever before.” It was a great read and the information in it has a huge impact on how somebody like me goes about gathering young adults into Christian community.
There was a survey done last year asking college students about their academic experiences. To the question ?If you explain to your professor that you?re trying hard, should he or she increase your grade?? two-thirds of college students said yes. I?m a professor and I study narcissism, and I was still shocked by that number! The ?everybody gets a trophy? mentality basically says that you?re going to get rewarded just for showing up. First of all, that?s not how the real world works. Second, that won?t build true self-esteem; instead, it builds this empty sense of ?I?m just fantastic, not because I did anything but just because I?m here.?
Do you see this sort of thing showing up in your school, business, or church? Is the self-esteem movement backfiring in a socially disastrous way?