The most famous cliché you can read about ego is “edging god out”. Some say that even God has an ego. Then why does he feel the need to be worshiped everyday, ask some?
Leaving God for some time and moving on to a few definitions. Ego is a Latin word, which is derived from the Greek word meaning “ I “, often used to mean the self. The society’s concept of ego has been often the recognition of an arrogant and abusive behaviour.
What does the ego want? It wants to own everything, compare and dominate. This can be anyone, from your milkman to your mother-in-law. Is it satisfied? No. Never. It always believes I am separate from everyone. Once it is satisfied, then you are finished. It always exists in people who ask for more. MORE is the ego’s mantra.
Let’s start from a child’s ego. It starts receiving appreciation from parents, relatives and everyone around. It feels good and starts expecting an appreciation always. Now an ego is born. It is going to stay on with this child, because it is a byproduct of living with others.
Then the ego in a teen stage can be quite baffling. Lot of fuel for this ego comes from the parents and gadgets. The parents make their teens look like a knight in armor. They feel their kid is the greatest person living on planet earth. They also feel that the troublemaker in school, always, is the boy or girl sitting next. This strong artificial protection creates a big high for these teens. Mostly egoistic parents create such a fragile personality of their teens. They replace love with money and affection with credit cards, and ensure that their kids are always fully loaded. So with this mindset, these kids fear criticism in class and react to every minor scolding from their teachers.
Added to this, are the latest Smartphone’s and Gadgets, which they carry with pride. To flaunt a costly gadget is nothing but to intimidate another’s ego. All goes well till the next model arrives. The same can be said of designer clothes and labels.
Child Psychologist Dr. Allen Kanner says “ its the Meta message that you can solve all life’s problems by purchasing the right products, that’s having the most profound effect now.” Well, marketing companies and ad agencies thrive on their consumer’s ego. It’s their bread and butter. If not for ego, they would have shut shop and gone home. An article from “Driving teen egos through branding” says that these marketers distort the organic process of developing an identity by hooking a self-value to the brand.
There are a few exceptions too, though very rare. I have seen teens from very well to do families behaving absolutely normal and not carrying an air around them. That shows that their parents would have been very supportive and normal, and could have imbibed some real value systems on to them.
Now, its time to grow up and talk about the adult ego. This ego has just the carried forward inventory from the child stage. Most of the damage is done already, in this stage. So, if you are lucky and strong-minded, you can shed a few threads from the adult ego fabric and spin a new one.
The least we can do is to keep this adult ego in a tight leash. As adults, there is always the ego playing with us. Be it a Scientist, a politician, an actor or a religious leader, or anyone, the mind is the same.
Actors can have the biggest egos. The hero-worship, the arc lights and fan following can create havoc into an actor. We have seen many actors fall flat after their market vanishes. They rewind and fast-forward their golden moments and wonder where have the fans gone? They have no answer to this question.
On the contrary, just write the name Rajinikanth. There you have a global brand, millions of fan following, but so what? All this stardom hasn’t changed this man. He has his feet firmly on the ground and moves like a common man.
So there are a few exceptions here too. He recently said at an audio launch function that if you start lifting your collars you might have to lose a few buttons. True.
Even a cricketer like M.S.Dhoni would be a strong contender for this ego less crown. During cup triumphs, we see him smiling more often in group photos in a corner, and avoiding to be the centre of attraction. He lets the cup of joy be carried by his teammates.
Ok now what about religion? All religions were founded to do good and there ends the matter. Only when man takes religion into his own hands and tries to manipulate it for his own benefit, then it becomes an ego trip.
To sum it up , here is an interesting blog “Sam’s thoughts” which says it all in black and white. Without an ego you won’t have toes to step on. No feelings to hurt. No battles to win. No grudges to hold. No jealousy to feel. No revenge to take. No faults to allocate. No knowledge to prove.
Are we listening?