Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


By Domenick J. Maglio, PhD Traditional Realist

Our materialistic culture has turned too many Americans into instant gratifiers. As the J.G. Wentworth television advertisement blares with people yelling out the windows, “it is my money and I want it now.” People believe they have the immediate right to whatever they want. We have encouraged people to develop inflated egos that do not allow any space for gratitude and empathy. The “Me Generation” now should be called the “Charlie Sheen generation,” which has contaminated the entire society.

People who only focus on themselves have difficulty contributing anything to others. They can be good consumers meeting their personal wants but possess a poor sense of duty.

This inability to learn from reality starts early. Our children have been raised to be self-centered and self-absorbed. As youngsters they have received whatever they want before even asking for it. There is no need to earn or save. These modern day princes and princesses are not being prepared for the sacrifices needed for starting out at the bottom in employment, raising a family and hardships that arise in the journey through life. They have no internal reality check.

Our younger generation is being robbed by not having honest evaluations given by authority figures and peers. These evaluations often shock a person into seeing his shortcomings. This straightforward feedback becomes an opportunity for improvement and maturity. The policy of all participants receiving a trophy, grade inflation and political correctness is stifling the development of strong, resilient individuals.

The high self-esteem proponents such as many educators and mental health professionals will be exposed as destructive dimwits. People of any age who are given praise and rewards without earning them are being weakened and harmed by junk science. They have no idea that thinking oneself great does not make it so

Instant gratification has been a syndrome of the offspring of the uber rich but America, on all socio- economic levels is now infested with this ailment. The baby boomers, to our youth, rich to poor all believe they are entitled to other people’s assets. Dignity, humility and honor are disappearing while taking advantage and handouts are becoming customary in our nation’s long period of prosperity.

An economic correction is coming or has already begun, with higher inflation caused by our unsustainable debt. The jig is up. Individuals either adapt to harder economic times by making do or become disappointed and bitter with their decreased purchasing power in a much more challenging time.

The silver lining in difficult times is that people learn to appreciate the important things in life. They turn towards God, family and respect for others. Increasing savings becomes a necessity that requires delaying of gratification. This working and waiting to get what a person wants increases appreciation for the object that is finally obtained and decreases the urge for envy and greed. It weeds out the mentally spoiled from the grateful survivors.

There are too many pathetic “Charlie Sheens” of the world who are becoming disillusioned people. They range from complaining about not getting the customary bonus, to being laid off, paying a high mortgage on a house too big for their income, or a PhD. begging on the street who is unwilling to take a job below his educational expectations. Phony self-esteem is based on an entourage telling a person how great he is. Our outrageous childrearing, education and media celebrity worship have been perpetrators in this hideous act. Many of us have been affected by this culture of believing we deserve more than we have.

Everyone on earth faces some form of suffering. The greater an individual’s self-importance and expectations, the harder it is to handle the pain of life. Arrogance limits the ability for appreciating the contribution of others and our country to their personal success.

The inevitable economic downturn will cleanse us of our overinflated egos. Just like Charlie Sheen and many other delusional celebrities have experienced their audience turns its back on them when they are unable to handle the adversity the celebrities have brought on themselves. Our lack of appreciation for what we have been given is coming to an end.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going and the weak fall apart. The tough fight for survival while the entitlement brats demand others do for them instead of doing for themselves. The over-inflated-ego people demanding others meet their needs will fall on deaf ears. These somewhat talented, self-promoting and self- absorbed people eventually expose themselves as mentally shallow and spiritually unhealthy souls. The audience shrinks as they see the person for what he is.

No one deserves anything. We can only work for something and be thankful for the opportunity to do so. Honorable people understand their lives are blessed not that “they deserve it. “

Dr. Maglio is the author of Invasion Within and Essential Parenting. He is a psychotherapist and the owner/director of Wider Horizons School.


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