Last week, a student from my home University, Cornell, took their own life. The security guards assigned to walk and watch the bridges since the last student jumped provide an odd sort of comfort but ultimately raise more questions than answers.
An estimated one in five secondary school and college age youth have intentionally cut, burn, carve, bruise, or otherwise injured their bodies without the intention of committing suicide. But why?
Happiness. We all want it. If you were born in America you learned early that happiness is not only your right but a national obsession as well. The problem is this: with the quest for happiness, as it is socially and culturally defined in most western nations, comes heightened risk for addictions of all sorts - particularly for youth.
We are home to an increasingly narcissistic generation, it is true. Increasingly prevalent empirical data to back up what we all know and suspect: today's generation of kids are more narcissist than previous generations. However, although the empirical validation is useful, such studies simply quantify the obvious.