January 31, 2020

Has ‘Generation Y’’s aggressive strain of narcissism contributed to a rise in depression and self-destructive behaviour among its emotionally discerning individuals?

Rosa Barbour, 26

This piece of writing is based predominantly on the social frustration and alienation I have experienced in my own life, stemming from exposure to the startling lack of empathy present in self-orientated people, as well as the lack of sincere motivation behind lots of supposedly influential creative work. I felt that the writing, by necessity, had to be honest – reflective of my own personal experience. As the prose unfolds, it becomes clear that the protagonist’s disillusionment poses a threat to herself and potentially others. Those with emotional intelligence and the ability to see beauty in the world – within the infinitesimal and mundane as well as the profound – are often, simultaneously, acutely aware of what is poisonous and performative (particularly with regards to the behaviour of their fellow human beings). This dual awareness can lead discerning individuals to despondency and terminal cynicism. This state is a threat to the unique and valuable influence they have the potential to yield. Though the piece is provocative, it does not come from a place of anger but of hope: that those who continue to value authenticity and humanity continue to stay strong and present within the world they inhabit so intensely.

Humanities, 2019