The other day I wrote about anger and the effect it has on us. When we look at the situation further, we understand that the human ego is what drives us to behave in such a manner. If it wasn't for this simple mechanism, we would cease to get upset about that which we do.
To start, the ego is what pushes us to eat. We cannot survive without this crucial human component. It is the most basic of survival mechanisms. At this level, the ego is a helpful asset to be cherished.
However, mankind has a way of allowing the ego to get out of control. There are many names for it: vanity, false pride, etc... The bottom line is that we get into conflict when we allow our opinion of ourselves to become distorted. Harmony with our fellow man disappears.
People's opinion of themselves tends to drift towards one of two extremes. First, someone holds him or herself in very high regard. This shows through in the form of cockiness. Each action is done with the intention of showing you how good they really are.
The second way the ego gets distorted is by making the person believe he or she is worse than everyone else. Because of some past (or even present) conditioning, these people think that everyone in the world is a better person. These individuals continually put themselves down. Their belief system tells them they are worthless.
Each of these two situations is a gross distortion of reality. Everyone has worth, a tremendous worth. We each were blessed with certain skills. Nobody is completely worthless nor is there anyone who borders on perfection. We all have faults. Some excel in areas where others fail and vice versa.
The way to break the ego's control is to attempt to keep things in perspective. Much of what I write about on this blog deals with the perspective one keeps. To me, this is the essence of our existence. Whereas one sees lemons, another sees lemonade. One focuses on the crisis at hand while another sees opportunity. The perspective creates the reality.
You are just as worthy as the person next to you. There are skills you possess which are individual to you. Nobody else can do what you can do. At the same time, you cannot do what another can. That is the paradox of life. We each are not better or worse than others, simply different.
Adopting this mindset makes us realize that much of what we fret about is the ego trying to maintain its place. Anger is a weapon used when it is threatened. Overcome this desire by understanding that circumstances are no reflection of the person that you are. We all deal with things the best we can. Mistakes are made which provide an opportunity to learn. At the end of the day, your own comfort and happiness is what is important.
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