March 13, 2007

Ego

This is more of a continuation of the previous piece. There is no reason that there was such a time gap between the two.
Once both of us, I mean the person I was talking to and me, were done on the fact of being alone in this world, we moved on to another topic. This has been one of my favorite topics for a long time.
We began talking about the ego.
Before I start, I would like to state that at no point in time I am trying to belittle anyone. What I say here is what I think, nothing else.
I know that anything I say here will be more of a CCP (to read as cut copy paste, a typical MBA jargon) from any of Ayn Rand’s books. Nevertheless, I shall try.
That person kept telling me that they were not feeling great about his or her own self.
When I asked how this was possible, the reply that I think I got was this, “I generally feel happy when I make others around me happy. In case there are situations wherein I end up making someone else feel low, I feel low.”
What struck me immediately and what I asked was this, how can one base their happiness on what others feel?
The reply though muted was not clear.
Ego is something that everyone has that makes him or her feel good by themselves. It is possible that there are two stimuli for such feel-good factors.
The first is that it comes from someone or something outside. This means that one feels good about him or her self based on events that happen with other people. The perfect example is during one of the conversations, I ended up hurting a person. I feel bad that I did that, regardless of the fact that what I said was the truth and it was necessary.
The second is when it comes from within. What people understand and know is what drives this stimulus. Carrying on the previous example, I know that I hurt my friend. However, since I know that what I said was the truth and it was necessary, I will not feel bad. Rather, I will feel good about my friendship with that person and myself because it lets me talk the truth and not feel bad about it.
Of these two, I would like to follow the second genre. The reason being, I am supposed to be a rational human being. I am supposed to think and understand what each happening means and signifies.
A rational person would realize that there is only one person who is responsible for their happiness, themselves. By placing others responsible for your happiness, you are taking away the meaning of the word ego. You are removing the “my” from “my ego”.
This is not to say that one cannot feel happy due to others. You can feel happy for them; you can even feel happy because of them. Ultimately, that happiness must be based on something that is inside you, even if it is because of others.

Happiness is mine, so is sadness.
I create them in my head, reasons aplenty.
You can make me happy; you can make me sad,
The fact is simple,
Happiness is mine, so is sadness.

3 comments:

Lazy Lavender said...

I ended up hurting a person. I feel bad that I did that, regardless of the fact that what I said was the truth and it was necessary.
I know that I hurt my friend. However, since I know that what I said was the truth and it was necessary, I will not feel bad.
I'd say, under such circumstances, one would feel bad because the friend is hurt, and not because he/she did it. Or one could bring out the necessary truth in such a way that the friend gets the point without taking offense. Well, this is for people to whom others matter. For the rest, it won't really make a difference.
The reason being, I am supposed to be a rational human being. I am supposed to think and understand what each happening means and signifies.
What is with the "supposed to"? Sounds like you're being forced to abide by some unspoken/unwritten rule.
Also 'placing others responsible for your happiness' will depend on who the person is, and how much they mean to you, and what effect they will have on your life. This again, is like the first, for people to whom the world means something.

Uttara said...

should definitely say that makes a lot of sense...Ultimately we get happy...and i guess the WE counts more than anything..and it happens so that may be hurting a person may make us feel bad, because we are exposing our ugly part to that person, which we dont want to do at all.and there are times when we feel happy just seeing others happy, ultimately its probably because, WE, the ego , means something to others....great blog...

PS stil ahvent read story...am going on a leave from sat till wed to madurai..shall def read and post comment :-P

Rajaraman said...

ego is alternative form of self pride with out any substance.It is one form of rigidity. It makes one feel more superior to the other person and refusing to accept their viw ,points bcos we feel we are more important.Such a situation only makes things complicated and creates a situation of lose lose.Ego hurts but never helps making a person happy.
Ego should be there to the extent it safe guards once own self respect,dignity and right to have the opinion which is fair to one and all.
Many things need not be written down to be accepted by all. It is understood.As long as one does not trespass the prive sapce of the other , it is alright.
Ego should also be like that within the private space and does not encroach on others space