The Revolution Issue

People Are Waking Up

It's time to reject our culture's slide into narcissism.
People Are Waking Up
Nylon, March 2009

People are waking up. They’re saying, Not another day! This is where I mark the line.

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They’re hungry to get involved and they’re getting involved. Their desire to change the world is shifting from wishful Monday-morning thinking into tangible action. They’re beginning to see activism not as something done at nonprofit meetings and protests, but as a way of life, a personal, spiritual choice. Ultimately, it is the choice to reject our culture’s slide into narcissism. It is a view that rejects the modern consumer philosophy that true happiness comes from personal material accumulation and self-interest. It is the realization that the joy of connecting with nature blows the joy of acquiring stuff out of the water.

We are social animals; we crave connection and community; we crave a wide, encompassing identity that connects us with all of humanity – not just our friends and family, not just our city, our country, our species – but every living being on Earth: plant, animal, human.

It is a new philosophy – and perhaps a very ancient one. It leads to the most profound and meaningful kind of happiness one could possibly experience. It adopts the happiness of others as its own … and also shares in their suffering.

You can’t buy that kind of happiness at a store. You can’t get it from beating the last level of a video game. It doesn’t come out of the end of a pipe or at the bottom of a bottle. It doesn’t come from watching sports. It doesn’t come from how you dress or what kind of car you drive. It doesn’t come from getting a college degree or a fatter paycheck. It comes directly from the final and profound realization that there are no isolated islands of “self” and “other.” We are inter-woven into everything. We are all of it.

Tim Hjersted is the director and a cofounder of Films For Action.


Audio version read by George Atherton

38 comments on the article “People Are Waking Up”

Displaying 11 - 20 of 38

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Anonymous

As far as I can tell, I play videogames AND this article resonates with my current beliefs (the seemingly functional one's that I put in place). Am I being narcissistic, facetious and/or something else entirely?

Anonymous

As far as I can tell, I play videogames AND this article resonates with my current beliefs (the seemingly functional one's that I put in place). Am I being narcissistic, facetious and/or something else entirely?

CptCucumber

It's a powerful statement and I agree entirely, but the majority of people will always accept lower pleasures over those with deeper meaning, and those that share the happiness others emit from themselves.

I meditate, I teach and I learn from those around me, and see so many of them desperate for fame and wealth, devotion and utmost love, but stare blankly at the offer of just walking eastward for a day to see where we go.

It seems we are willing to devote the majority of our lives in such trivial things. But will only slightly brush past those experiences that really make us feel part of the wider world, and those experiences that really make you proud to exist in this exact moment. Perhaps most of all, those experiences that remind us of the billion year journey our genetic material has taken all the way to the very moment we find ourselves in, and that, that, is far more lasting than any bank account, computer game, or reality TV show that will be ever offered.

Dave "Fenrir" Fitchett

CptCucumber

It's a powerful statement and I agree entirely, but the majority of people will always accept lower pleasures over those with deeper meaning, and those that share the happiness others emit from themselves.

I meditate, I teach and I learn from those around me, and see so many of them desperate for fame and wealth, devotion and utmost love, but stare blankly at the offer of just walking eastward for a day to see where we go.

It seems we are willing to devote the majority of our lives in such trivial things. But will only slightly brush past those experiences that really make us feel part of the wider world, and those experiences that really make you proud to exist in this exact moment. Perhaps most of all, those experiences that remind us of the billion year journey our genetic material has taken all the way to the very moment we find ourselves in, and that, that, is far more lasting than any bank account, computer game, or reality TV show that will be ever offered.

Dave "Fenrir" Fitchett

Anonymous

Narcissistic people don't exist in their own mind. Their identity is created through other peoples opinion or them. Narcisism is danderous beacuse it actively encourages faux social behaviour. A narcisistic persona will tell you what you want to hear so that you feed their emotional need for attention.

Narcissism is dangerous because it leads to the creation of a self as dependent entirely of the views of others. Their is no person just opinions of a person. A narcisstic population in an unstable social evironment will lead to extremely volatile personalities.

Anonymous

Narcissistic people don't exist in their own mind. Their identity is created through other peoples opinion or them. Narcisism is danderous beacuse it actively encourages faux social behaviour. A narcisistic persona will tell you what you want to hear so that you feed their emotional need for attention.

Narcissism is dangerous because it leads to the creation of a self as dependent entirely of the views of others. Their is no person just opinions of a person. A narcisstic population in an unstable social evironment will lead to extremely volatile personalities.

Dominic

i'm interested to see that adbusters haven't touched on the subject by referencing julia kristeva (she basically said what you just said).

maybe a policy of 'radical honesty' is the best way to approach this "cultural slide into narcissism?"

Dominic

i'm interested to see that adbusters haven't touched on the subject by referencing julia kristeva (she basically said what you just said).

maybe a policy of 'radical honesty' is the best way to approach this "cultural slide into narcissism?"

The Systemist

Pathetic America...

Pathetic, fatuitous and ignorant America...

The above comment is full of lucidness...and some think its a video game issue...HAHAHA.

Impressive intelligence. Really.

Pitiful society. 'nuff said.

The Systemist

Pathetic America...

Pathetic, fatuitous and ignorant America...

The above comment is full of lucidness...and some think its a video game issue...HAHAHA.

Impressive intelligence. Really.

Pitiful society. 'nuff said.

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