Friday, November 24, 2006

I'm Not Arrogant, I'm Just Better Than You

Introduction: The ego is the part of ourselves that desires to covet, it is about self-fulfillment and attainment. It clings to worldly possessions, vanity, money, power and praise. The ego declines criticism and welcomes confirmation, whether sincere or not. In this way it turns a blind eye to anything that detracts from it. If unrestricted the ego will lie to get its way, ignoring all logical warnings and truth. It is impatient and impulsive, unconcerned with the process of achieving a result.

Yet no matter how much you feed your ego, you cannot satisfy it, anymore then you can grab air out of the sky. I highly doubt there is anyone who is not concerned with how other people view them in varying degrees. It is human nature to desire and be desired, to have wants feel like needs, to obtain and prosper. For the ego is not all bad, it can be used as a tool to drive determination, pride, perseverance and ambition. These are qualities that most societies hold in high regard. Persons who consistently achieve are often rewarded with a bounty of praise, admiration, power, and financial compensation, and if not all these things, surely some of them.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be your very best. There is everything wrong with only wanting to be your very best as a means to a reward, and it is even more selfish and wrong to want a reward in exchange for nothing. We are often blinded by our egos, allowing external factors to determine our self worth. In this way the ego is no longer a tool of process, it is the process. When what we say and do comes directly from the ego it is at the detriment of ourselves and all those around us.

Ego-Tripping: When you are blessed with exceptional talent whether it be physical or mental, and your performance stands head and shoulders above all others who share your interest, it is easy to become very impressed with yourself. To boast and brag is to despise others, and consequentially you will be despised. It is the ego that tries to lower the self-esteem of others to raise itself up, and for this reason the pretentious are always hated.

Delusions of Ego: Do not let your ego cloud you from what you know to be the truth, lest you be taken advantage of or fall prey to your own refusal to recognize right from wrong.

When I was a young teenager, a group of friends and I were hanging outside the house of two brothers, whom we were all friends with. The two brothers were called by their mother to come in for dinner, and while waiting for them to return we noticed a barbell loaded with an extremely heavy amount of weight sitting in the car-port. We all stood in awe of the person who could lift such a heavy load, in this case it was the oldest of the two brothers. Unfortunately, the ego got the better of one my friends who thought he would impress us by lifting the barbell over his head. Now the rest of us all decided this was a bad idea and tried several times to discourage this rash decision. But his ego ignored what was perfectly good sense, considering he did not even weigh half as much as the load he was attempting to lift.

The story pretty much goes south from here. I would tell you not to look, but this is not a video. He preceded to snatch the barbell off the ground and flung it over his head. The momentum from the weight threw his balance off, so that he lost control of the bar and began to fall backwards with the hefty load following right behind him. Out of panic he maintained his grip on the bar which proved to be a big mistake. As the weight bore down on his wrists, they both broke. Next, both his elbows broke. His back then gave out, followed by both his knees, and finally his ankles. There he laid on the ground with his body folded up like an accordion. This little episode took all of three seconds, but it seemed like it happened in slow motion. Never had I seen an ego work so quickly in literally bringing a man down.

Conclusion: It is best to be humble, draw your strength from within. Pursue your goals without care of recognition, let others think and say what they will. Remember you can be both cheered and scorned in the same hour. Deeds well done speak for themselves without having to draw attention to them. A wise man keeps quiet, and people can only wonder. An idiot speaks, and everyone knows how ignorant he is. Act as though you were nobody and you can never be torn down.

1 comment:

Betty & Bimbo said...

Why do you think some people are drawn to people with big egos? Does it have to do with a lack of ego on their part?

Also, I think it's important to distinguish between ego - one's sense of one's place and importance in the world (or so I understand it) and self-esteem, one's sense of the worth and dignity of one's own life. Many people with low self esteem have big egos, and vice versa.

I would like to learn more about this subject, it seems an key tool for understanding people, their pasts, and their motivations.