I talked the other day about DIPs (Delusionally Important People). You know the ones, the ones who think they can get away with whatever they like because they’re so special. Well, I am not the only one to find these folks annoying. Check out this column from Ruben Navarrette Jr at CNN. He says, among other things,
There are many people out there, in all walks of life, who think they’re more significant than they really are. Plagued with an exaggerated sense of self-importance, they feel entitled to do whatever they want, whenever they want to do it no matter whom it hurts. The self-centered rarely think about the consequences because they’re too busy claiming what they see as their rightful place in the spotlight.
Ouch. That sounds just about spot-on to me. Just in the last week or so, we here in the U.S. of A. have had a tennis star, a musician, and a politician all speak out, in public situations, in the rudest possible manner. A member of Congress who vocally accuses the President of lying while he is in the middle of a speech is nothing if not rude. You can disagree all you like, but there is a time and place for this sort of thing. A tennis star who lambasts a referee in the worst language? Perhaps her fame is going to her head? And when a musician gets up on stage and takes the microphone away from a giddy young star who has just won an award, so he can say that a friend of his was robbed? That goes beyond rudeness.
Want another spot-on statement?
Americans have reared at least one generation of kids, or maybe two, to think of themselves as the last bottle of soda pop in the desert. We said we were building children’s self-esteem so they could be successful, but it never occurred to us that giving kids what psychologists call “cheap self-esteem” could do more harm than good by making our kids think they’re 10-feet tall and bulletproof when they’re neither. Besides, what many of these parents were really doing was feeding their own egos; by telling your kids they’re special, it confirms that you’re special for having such special kids. Isn’t that special?
I think of this as the “Gold Star Syndrome.” The minute you give everyone gold stars, is the minute that all of them become meaningless. What happened to having to earn them? What happened by showing the other people around you the kind of respect that you expect yourself? Sigh … sometimes I just cringe for the future of the human race.