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Friday, June 24, 2011

Deadly Ego

In the last post we saw how a negative ego can cause an outward effect and possibly harm others. Next we will see how a negative ego can harm the one with the ego.

I had a good friend, whom I'll call Justin. His number one value was achievement. Justin got his bachelor's degree at 20 and his master's degree at 22. He married a beautiful woman and they had two lovely children. When Justin was 30 years old he began work on his doctorate. He finished all of his coursework for the degree but was having trouble writting his dissertation. It seemed every time he submitted his thesis to his committee they would reject it for some reason or another. His wife found him slumped over his desk at home one evening with a suicide note. Justin had shot himself in the head. He was so attached to achieving his Ph.D. that he completely lost sight of everything else in his life. It was a tragedy for everyone concerned.

This doesn't mean that the ego is always expressed in negative and unhealthy ways. There certainly are situations where the ego is expressed in positive ways. Single donations of one dollar are given by unknown donors to all kinds of needy causes every day adding up to millions of dollars a year. Even single donors giving millions of dollars is not uncommon. All of this is okay because there is nothing wrong with feeling good. This type of ego is healthy for both the donor as well as the recipient. Gift giving is done worldwide and among all cultures. It has been going on for thousands of years and will probably continue for a thousand more because it feels good for everybody concerned.

Next, we will take a look at the seven characteristics of the ego.

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