Sunday, August 1, 2010

What's wrong with a little narcissism?

Eat, Pray, Be article from Brevity's blog

"I find it troubling that so many American women identify with a narration that is so preoccupied with self." - Koa Beck

This was written a couple of months ago in a non-fiction blog I follow and also happen to love, but considering Eat.Pray.Love is one of my favorite books I didn't particularly care for the article, and so, with the movie coming out in 2 weeks I decided to write about it.

It seems as women we are pretty much wired to be more compassionate than our male counterparts. I'm not saying it's impossible for a man to think about someone besides himself, I'm just saying it's more likely he'll put himself first. It's as if there is a breed of selfishness in them that doesn't exist in women - or maybe as women we are taught to repress this feeling?

I know lots of women who admit their greatest dating flaw is that they try to see the best in people; they believe they can somehow change the person they're dating - better them. And a lot of times they do. But at what cost?

All too often it feels like we waste so much time trying to make someone else see the good in themselves, that we lose sight of our own lives. So what's wrong with being a little selfish for a change? Our purpose is not to "fix" other people; and shouldn't we be more worried about fixing ourselves? Because the truth is we all need a little fixing now and again - Don't we?

So, when I hear a story like this one I don't berate Elizabeth Gilbert for her gaul to actually write her journey down and to share it with the world. People can say it comes off as superficial and narcissistic, but shouldn't we applaud her for her courage instead of belittling it?

And as far as Ms. Beck's (ironic it's a not man protesting the book) comment in the article goes, regarding the idea that stories like these do little to address "the societal problems many women face, and will continue to face in their marriages and in their homes," I would have to disagree. I mean, isn't the message Gilbert's story is trying to send exactly the fact that we can and should be happy in our marriages and our homes - and our lives for that matter? It's pretending like we are when we aren't that's the problem. Just a thought...

Well, until next time...go see the movie - August 13th!