The following is a fictitious character and scenario. Lucinda is very creative with the ability to accomplish the tasks that her position demands. To complement this, she successfully ushered in new clients, and enabled her company to flourish. Her supervisor, Estelle, on the other hand, gave no credit to her abilities in accomplishing this feat. Instead, she took all the accolades and a new higher position.
Estelle continued the trek up the ladder of the company by habitually, through coercion and commandeering of others’ accomplishments, requesting that they make her look good in the eyes of others, and informing all that she was the smartest person in the room. The resulting impact of the supervisor’s actions was that Lucinda became frustrated, disenchanted with the company, and extremely distrustful. This affected her creative ideas and well-being. No longer was the positive, effervescent energy present.
The character of Estelle is a great example of ego and how its corrosive effects impact the lives of others. We cannot ascertain what was the cause, as there are a multitude of factors stemming from this situation, such as childhood experiences, exposure to negative values, or possibly lifetime experiences. Once ego has infected one’s personality, if left unchecked, it may fester and grow.
On the other hand, love gives without question or ulterior motives, and seeks no gain at the expense of others. Love is unconditional, and the only goal is to help others. As humans, we are imperfect; and there are occasions when one’s guard is down, thus opening the opportunity for ego to rear its ugly head. Periodically, it is important that self-awareness activities be conducted to hold the emergence of ego at bay.
The following are some helpful suggestions:
• Do something nice for a friend/co-worker/subordinate. For example, inform them of the positive accomplishments or impacts that you have observed them doing in their job.
• Instead of you dominating and leading the conversation, let someone else talk for a change.
• Take the time to listen rather than just hearing what others have to say.
• When trying to understand the point of view of others, try to place yourself in the other person’s shoes.
• There is no unification of others around a project when the word “I” is used. The word “team” does not contain “I”.
• Allow others to assume new duties and responsibilities (or ones that you once held), thus affording them the opportunity to learn and grow.
• Learn to remove the protective shell cloaking your true feelings and express them either individually or in a group.
For those who have veered occasionally from the loving course or others who wish to make a radical change, the choice is yours to make. It is either to have a personally enriching, fulfilling life in making this world a better place, or a life that emphasizes self-aggrandizement while vanquishing those around you in life’s journey. One way or another, you will be held accountable either in this world or the next.
“Ego judges and punishes. Love forgives and heals.” – Author Unknown
“Love and ego cannot coexist together.” – Banani Ray