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  • John Whitehead

Naturally Narcissistic

I find it interesting, in the last few years people seem to have become aware of the narcissism that exists all around us. This has been used to describe people we feel are overly self-indulgent, when in fact this, could be said of each of us at one time or another.


As with most things in life, this is easier seen in someone else then it is to see in ourselves.


This reminded me of a movie we watched every year when I was growing up. It was called, “Wizard of Oz”. I am sure most of you have seen it, if not, you should check it out.


Until recently, I never realized Dorothy’s search for a way home in the fictional Land of Oz reveals a type of narcissism that exists in all of us.


How can this be? The answer lies in the reality every character in the story symbolized a weakness in Dorothy’s life. You see, she was just like you and me. She was struggling with personal weaknesses, and she needed to overcome them to be able to find her way home.


These were revealed and represented by the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion. Each of these characters demonstrated a weaknesses or insecurity that existed in her life. The Scarecrow needed a heart so he could care and feel deeply. The Tin Man wanted a brain or the ability to discern and think clearly. The Lion needed courage because he was overwhelmed by fear and the uncertainties of life.


Because this movie took place in Dorothy’s dream, I believe in her subconscious these were issues she was facing in her own life. So, she wandered the yellow brick road searching for the ability to care and feel deeply, to discern and think clearly and to have the courage to face the fears and uncertainties her life.


If my contention is true, then this all points to the fact sweet endearing Dorothy was just like each of us, she was “naturally narcissistic”.


Because, just like everything in our lives, each character in the story had to do with her.


This may not be something we want to hear or think about, but it is true. We all care more about ourselves than anyone or anything else. Though there may be times of selflessness in our lives, we will always return to this narcissistic state.


This is seen today in the virtue signaling taking place all around us. Here, seemingly normal people claim to be ashamed of who they are because they are being told they should be.


This occurs because we are all “naturally narcissistic” and the need for virtue is at the height of our narcissism.


It is amazing to watch people seek virtue simply to feel virtuous.


If we can admit we have this tendency, we must ask ourselves how far are we willing to go to be seen as virtuous? Are we willing to go over the rainbow in search of the proverbial Oz in our own life?


I do not know where our narcissism will lead us, but I do know the only way to combat this condition is to love others without condition.


This does not mean we must be self-deprecating or self-loathing. It just means we must love others the way we want to be loved. In the end, this should be easy for all of us, because this too is “naturally narcissistic.”


Regardless of all of this, as I look at my life and the world, I grew up in. I know without a doubt I am not in Kansas anymore!


Matthew 22:38-39, Jesus declared, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.



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