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Of God And The Culture Of Narcissism

I am humbled that you can find time to read this post.

As you well know because I have said this severally, I am humbled to be a prosperous Kenyan, one of the few millionaires in dollars. And at such a young age. I like to remind those who question my wealth that I came from humble roots.

I was born poor however, my God is able and demands that I celebrate my blessings. I have heard some people complaining that I should hide my blessings and all I say to them is “are you high?’ and then I humbly ask them to turn to the book of James 4 verse 2 that reads; “You do not have it because you do not ask God”.

So many of you have commented on the picture of my new house. I intend to post pictures of all the other four I own, to show you what true blessings look like.  The heavens have opened its doors for me so I can only humbly open it to those who only see these beautiful houses in Nigerian movies.

Humility does not mean you think less of yourself

It means you think of yourself less- C.S Lewis

Some people have said even my simple clothes, those that I wear on weekends, are expensive and I tell them I don’t know how to eat life with a small spoon.

I am humbled to say, today something spectacular happened in my life again. I went out for lunch with my very good friend, we worship together in the same church where we are in the top 10 contributors. My brother from another mother is more famous and richer than I am but even so, tolerates my good company.

I am humbled to call him my friend. We ate foie gras for lunch and it tasted posh. Then we discussed important business, a multi-billion investment if you must know and posed for selfies afterwards.

 As we were polishing off dessert, I got an email on my iPhone 7 informing me that I had been formally appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador. I was humbled and now I know how Angelina Jolie felt. My good friend insisted that we must celebrate God’s favour and we called people we count as friends to join us. Our group spent more money than all the mzungu tourists in that restaurant. I have no problem building the economy in this manner.

To succeed in life and maintain that success, surround yourself with people who have money and love God, preferably at little more than yours because there is nothing as reassuring as friends who can pay their own bills.

My friends and I have so much taste that it leaves a bitter taste in other people’s mouths.

Am humbled to introduce you to my beautiful wife who is a God fearing woman. She was once a beauty queen. Now she has dedicated her life to helping the less fortunate in society, annoying my haters and staying glamorous. Some people have asked me how my wife remains loyal and submissive even when some busybodies try to tarnish my name with false claims. I ask them to turn to scripture. Micah 5:9 “Let Thy hand be lifted up above Thine adversaries, And let all Thine enemies be cut off”.

Am humbled that Kenyans insist on calling me a role model despite my dodgy past. So many people have asked me to write a book so that I can inspire more people and I tell them, if this is God‘s wish then I will release my autobiography.

Well, that is enough of me talking about myself; let’s hear you talk about me.

We have now entered the decade of “me-me’ and the era of self-obsession thanks largely to the tyranny of social media. The culture of narcissism is thriving and the hankering for admiration is bordering on a personality disorder.

It is healthy to blow one’s own trumpet but allowing others blow your horn will carry the sound twice as far. Too much self-admiration can morph into an addiction and we live in a society that is structured to get us high off our own supply.

Christopher Lasch, author of the book “The Culture of Narcissism”, writes, ” In our society, daily experience teaches the individual to want and need a never ending supply of new toys and drugs’.

Don’t be humble, you are not that great-Golda Meir

One of the only stories, I remember from Greek mythology was the story of Narcissus, an exceptionally handsome young man who acted like he was God’s gift to womankind. He had an attitude and treated his admirers with contempt. His trail was littered with broken hearts. Nemesis, the goddess of retribution and revenge decided to intervene on behalf of Narcissus’ heartbroken victims.

Nemesis lured Narcissus to a clear pool where he saw his reflection for the first time. This was in the time before mirrors. Narcissus was absolutely fascinated by his reflection and his own beauty, that he fell in love with his own image and stared at his reflection until he turned into a vegetable and lost the will to live.

The word narcissism draws its meaning from this story and serves as a warning to all those commonly afflicted by the condition of grandiosity. In simpler terms, not believing in your own hype.  Politicians make for great examples of narcissists because they never pass up any opportunity to showcase a grandiose sense of self-importance.

The church has its fair share of narcissists entrapping their admirers in the illusion of prosperity. With the advent of social media, we are now treated a new brigade of Johnny-come-latelies who behave like they breathe rarefied air and exhibit a degenerate sense of entitlement.

There are endless examples of narcissistic personalities in Kenya but nothing quite raises the red flag as the person who keeps saying, I am humbled.

 We must not confuse humility with false modesty and servility- Paulo Coelho

 

Oyunga Pala is a Kenyan newspaper columnist. The blog examines the texture of everyday Kenyan life and the challenges of modernity and disillusion. The writings commonly feature the struggle of the Kenyan male to maintain integrity in contemporary society.

8 Comments

  1. Kiama Kaara

    “I am humbled”…….. Tells it all.

  2. Braveheart

    The continuous use of the word God in speech or writing leaves a lot to be desired about the narrator. Like there is something they are hiding from us.

    Great analysis there OP.

  3. Uwesmakende

    Nigga you ain’t shit.

    • Nigga, please!

      • anonymous

        OP..very well said…people like this are talked of in the Quran
        ”Remember your Lord in yourselves with humility and in private without announcing it in the mornings and evenings, and do not be among the heedless”..
        Surah Al-A’raf 7:205

  4. Reading this from Uganda, I say that in this era of looking for positive energy has made us blow our own trumpets. In my culture the Luo of Uganda name giving was often of negative connotation in the hope that as you grow you would assume the positive aspects of your name. And so we had names like komakech meaning bad luck, aciro meaning I have endured, too, meaning death. But today you will hear names like komagum meaning am lucky, Mar meaning love to kind of praise oneself and speak positively to one’s life. This reminds me of Shakespeare famous line, what is in a name. I think it’s myopic for people to think being positive means speaking high of your self. There is need for Africa to the real meaning of humility. Thanks for your post @oyungapala

  5. They use “i am humbled” to mean “its about time you started clapping for me instead”

    “My friends and I have so much taste that it leaves a bitter taste in other people’s mouths” Somebody should just slap the taste out of the mouths of this juvenile braggarts …..

  6. Brilliant piece……

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