I read a few pieces about something called the Millenial Generation. These are boys and girls born since 1978, and whose pesonalities have been influenced by a high-dosage program of self-esteem enhancement since birth. The parents are inseparable part of the phenomenon (warning - reader discretion advised):
"Last year, when a 24-year-old salesman at a car dealership didn't get his yearly bonus because of poor performance, both of his parents showed up at the company's regional headquarters and sat outside the CEO's office, refusing to leave until they got a meeting. 'Security had to come and escort them out,' Sophy says.
He'd never, ever actually been criticized before, poor thing. In another case,
"A 22-year-old pharmaceutical employee learned that he was not getting the promotion he had been eyeing. His boss told him he needed to work on his weaknesses first. The Harvard grad had excelled at everything he had ever done, so he was crushed by the news. ...His mother called the human-resources department the next day. Seventeen times. She left increasingly frustrated messages: 'You're purposely ignoring us'; 'you fudged the evaluation'; 'you have it in for my son.'"
Were young Romans sitting around in the ruins of their empire as it collapsed around them thinking to themselves, "but I have such high self-esteem"?