Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly Wednesday blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.
“’Scoffer’” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride.”-Proverbs 21:24
Within the past week, the word “narcissism” has been appearing in many spaces that I’ve been exploring. Hopefully, it will not enter the inner sanctuary of my heart, mind and soul. Here are three spheres where it arose in the past week: Religion, politics and sport. To some degree, these are the usual suspects when it comes to locating narcissistic tendencies.
So, what is narcissism exactly? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it this way: “extremely self-centred with an exaggerated sense of self-importance.” According to this definition, the narcissist is consumed with himself and has self-exalting eyes. The natural corollary to that type of posture is to look down on others, often with arrogant pride, as Proverbs 21 above suggests.
At church last Sunday, our knowledgeable preacher spoke about his own observation about how much our world has become self-absorbed mentioning, as well, the theme of ‘narcissistic compassion’. In the political arena, in one of the world’s most developed countries, analysts have hinted that the narcissistic traits of one campaigner are likely at the root of his underperforming party at recent elections.
On the sports field, mere days away from the 2022 FIFA World Cup, headlines have centred around a leading player who recently spoke to the media in a way that many considered disrespectful to his leaders and fellow players. One football pundit said that the player’s ego seems to have been hurt and that this is him reacting.
You may or may not know the identity of any of the three persons I just mentioned. It does not matter. The question for us is whether our world is slowly giving in to a culture of self-centred egotism which is ruining relationships and eroding the pillars on which society is built. Importantly, are there seeds of narcissism in our own hearts and if yes, are we aware of them? I invite us all to look within.
One of the best antidotes to self-promotion is making others better.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.