Tuesday, June 23, 2009

don't hang on to your ego

this weekend i was downtown shopping for my dad in a shop that has a plethora of amazing gifts, including a whole section dedicated to toy musical instruments. this middle-aged man started playing a toy accordion, which reminded me of my grandpa who played a real one his whole life. nostalgia took over and i found myself staring at him with adoration in my eyes. he then gives me the side-eye so i sheepishly smiled and gave him a wimpy thumbs-up. i started to walk away when he says, "hey! what did you just say?" and i said, "oh, nothing, i just really liked your playing." his response? "why don't you just mind your own (&@%!!) business?" my jaw just about hit the floor and i skulked off feeling silly and embarrassed.

when my initial embarrassment subsided i started thinking about egotism. if we think about the ego as an inflated feeling of pride in your superiority to others (Princeton def) it seems bewildering why some people tend to nurse their ego and can't seem to let it go. it's merely a projection of fear and distrust dressed up as a dirty look or a snide comment. by doing this we prevent honest connections with other people and why would we want that? what's wrong with smiling at strangers? what's the harm in appearing silly or vulnerable? some of the happiest people i know aren't afraid of looking foolish, putting their hearts out there and just being themselves.

my proposition is simple: let go of the ego. start smiling at everyone you pass on the street. if they have crazy eyes or look scary or are toting a weapon, then yeah, you might want to forgo the niceties. start paying more compliments, even when you're envious or maybe a bit jealous. talk to elderly people in the grocery store because you know they love the conversation. don't judge, accept the shortcomings of others as well as your own. here are some tips from wayne dyer on ditching the ego... which are worded much better than i could do.


  1. You have nothing to be embarrassed about!
    That old man sounds nasty.

  2. Some people can be so rude! I just try to remind myself of the ones out there who are kind. They are there - they are just a little difficult to find sometimes :)