Ego Makes Us Stupid
Ego is like a fart which everyone smells except the owner. And we all do it. Yet often, the more flagrant our ego, the last we are to realize it. And when we do realize it, we usually try to deny it. Like reaching for the deodorant, our first reaction is to cover it up. And why? Because we think our ego is a part of us. And any negative reaction by others is a commentary on our person.
But it’s self-limiting to equate ego with who we really are. We are more than our bad manners, and we can learn to be more considerate of others. It’s smart to realize the whole world does not revolve around us. And, more importantly, that other people are not there just to cater to us. When we realize this, we are able to see ourselves and others in a healthier way. It’s good to want to be healthier. And smart for us to grow in this way. If we don’t, we won’t outgrow egocentric limitations and will continue to wonder why everyone else holds their nose in our presence.
But you may say, there’s lots of successful people with big egos, and look at them, they have a great life. Well, it’s not true. They may have a certain ability to project other traits which mask their ego, or enough money to attract things which seem to prove their merit; but, in the end, the quality of their life is not what it could be. And often, their close relationships suffer. And sometimes irreparable damage separates them from friends and family.
Nope, it’s not smart to nurture an ego. But why do so many of us suffer with one, when it seems so stupid to hold on to? It’s because we are creatures of habit. We walk the same pathways in our minds because it’s easier footing than to try and forge new trails. And by continual use we convince ourselves that this path, simply because it exists and even perhaps that it has served us well in the past, is the best way to go. We buy our own delusion. We accept our contorted rationale as brilliance, which others haven’t aspired to yet. We tell ourselves our thinking is right, when in fact it’s wrong. Thinking we know best, we have become stupid.
The ancient scriptures caution us against stupidity, or being headstrong lest we travel down perilous paths. “Do not be like the horse or mule, which have no understanding; whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle.” Literally, if we are not reined in, we will wander off in desperate attempts to satisfy our own lusts, and fall prey to our own devices. Yes, we have a will. Yes it’s our life, and we can choose to live how we want. But it is foolish to do so. Restraints can save us from harm, from getting lost, from being unproductive. If ego is not restrained it runs amuck.
The last time I checked, the mule is not that smart. It is stubborn. It seeks its own way, and often without contemplation. Sometimes you have to beat it, to make it mind. Ego is like the mule in our heads. Best we learn to kick our own ass, before life does it for us. Smarter this way. So try some humble pie. Humility is a great tonic. Ask God for help. He always listens. And He knows best how to gently lead us down healthier paths.