Check your ego at the door


Wanna impress me? Do something.

But the quickest way to bore me? Make it about your ego.

Because I really don’t care.

Many of us like to think we’re not That Person. We’re all above-average drivers. We’re all reasonable people. We’re all special.


I’ve encountered more than my fair share of completely unreasonable people. Some are friends, some are neutral, some are adversaries.

The neutral folks are far too numerous and far too unaware of their status. The adversaries can be co-workers, customer service reps, the idiot who just cut me off on the highway.

As for friends, they’re forgiven for their ego, as they forgive me for mine.

I’ve never, ever been impressed with people so self-involved that it becomes their calling card. A certain smugness pervades the elite, though no one seems quite sure why respect should be accorded naturally.

Those in charge, those who pull the levers in government, in civic organizations, even in the little ol’ church choir, sometimes confuse title with entitlement. I’m in charge, therefore I can do as I please and people will love me.

History repeats. Someone who takes power too far strays beyond what is ethical, what is moral. And he can rationalize each step, even the one off the cliff.

A certain humility would make the world a better place, if only to reign in the terribly obnoxious with no claim to fame other than their own hot air. I don’t begrudge the superstars their stellar egos, if only because they accomplished something noteworthy.

If you cure cancer, go nuts. Buy yourself a Super Bowl commercial and snatch your 72 virgins.

Short of that, consider yourself part of the muck of humanity you so desperately try to rise above, yet fail.

I wrestle daily with my ego. I learned early on that my place in the universe is but a speck. Some things I take seriously — myself, not so much.

And yet, I would say I have a healthy-size ego, one that bruises easily and holds mammoth grudges. I tell myself over and over not to let history and personal feelings impede my work. It’s too easy to give in to that selfish notion that my ego must be serviced.

I’m a reasonable person. I’m a so-so driver. I’m not at all special.

I’m just a guy trying to steer clear of the swollen heads and large asses supposedly in charge.


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