Ego has been on my mind as of late. Not just presented as arrogance or aloofness, but what happens when the ego presents itself in the form of a title? What happens when the ego presents itself in the form of laziness? What happens when it presents itself in a form other than what many of us have been trained to pinpoint? What happens when it is pointed out in that alternate form? Do you really think declaring shenanigans is going to change things? Of course not! The ego is a wily being, just waiting to jump in and 'save the day'.
I often look at myself and how I handle situations. I often wonder if I allow my own ego to get in the way. I look at people I know, people I used to know, and sometimes, people I don't know and I recognize certain things. I recognize those who may need help in one way or another. I recognize that some of those people don't know they need help. I recognize that some of those people don't want help. This is a frustrating thing. How can I help those who don't want it or think they don't need it? The short answer is, I can't. At this point, my own ego gets in the way.
Instead of doing the sensible thing and simply being, gathering information for when that person does want help, I get impatient. This is a function of ego and I know it. I know better and yet I do it anyway. I feel quite fortunate that I have surrounded myself with those more experienced than I am, so that they can point this out to me. I don't necessarily like it, but once it is pointed out, my own feelings are then narrowed to a specific source and they tend to make more sense to me. The light bulb comes on and, suddenly, I can navigate these feelings from a different place.
What happens when we are presented with someone who believes him- or herself to be 'greater' because of a title that has been bestowed upon him or her? What if this title only means something in ones group or local community? A good example of this would be the title of Elder within a regional community. Elder status is not something that is given by the other Elders within the community (though in certain places, the Elders would have people believe this). It is a status bestowed by the people in the community, whether a person wants the status or not. Yes, it helps when the Elders accept the will of the community in regards to said person, but they can not foist Elder status of a person upon the members of the community if said members do not want it. This is as much a function of the ego as is holding Elder status back from a deserving individual (and ignoring the will of the community).
What about the public shunning of individuals, or leaving them out of group activities, or making a commitment to a person and then reneging on that commitment without so much as a word to the individual? All of these things have the potential to cause grievous harm, if the individual allows it. These are all functions of the ego. Of course, on occasion, the person shunned moves past his or her own ego and sees the shunning for what it is: The will of the gods for them to move on to greater things. Then, *poof* the actions of those who are doing the shunning seem silly and childish and another illusion has been dispelled.
Another thing the ego does, especially while in a position of leadership, is strokes the ego of those it sees as 'beneath' it, so they do not see themselves as being used. Have you, dearest reader, ever watched someone turn into a slave? I have, many times, unfortunately. People want to be seen as important, worthy, more than they are and they allow themselves to be manipulated right into slavery. They allow those whom they perceive to be wiser or more than they are to stroke their egos with feelings of importance, saying things like, "You are special." or "The gods have great plans for you." (And many other manipulative placation's.)
I have always felt myself quite fortunate that I have never had delusions of grandeur. I do not want to lead vast hordes of people. I do not want people hanging on my every word because I am 'somebody.' Yes, I still have issues with wanting to prove myself to others, but not to the point of changing my own will to match that of another person's or allowing them to plant certain suggestions. I have long figured that if I make a difference in the life of one individual who goes out and does the same, then I have accomplished a great purpose in this life. If, by writing these simple thoughts down and leaving them on the internet for anyone to read, one person is moved, changed, or even questions anything they have been told, I have accomplished something greater than myself and doing the work is what is most important, not who delivers it or how it is delivered. (And, it is certainly not important for me to jump up and down or do the "Look at me" dance...)
This world has enough 'somebodies' in it. There are more than enough important people out there who want to stroke each others egos and tell each other they are doing the good work. They want to tell each other how important they are to the masses and how the masses need them to keep doing the work. There are more than enough people out there with title and status. Jesus wanted neither title nor status. While he is not my god, I do believe he is a good example. Buddha did not want title or status. While he is also not my god, he is also a good example. Both did the work they believed they were sent here to do. They did what they did and many lives were changed for it.
I walk a path of service: Service to my gods and service to my community. Let no man's words or deeds hinder that service. Let no man's will or desire transcend the will of the gods. So mote it be.
Brightest blessings, friends!!