Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tales from the Drunk Side: The Ego

Someone said to me, "You know what? I'm doing okay. Compared to other people."

Another guy said, "If we do that, we'll sink to their level."

"Oh, okaylah for you."

Others, compete with you. Compare stuff. As a man, I have been forced to figuratively compare sizes for almost all my life.

Who has the bigger paycheck. Who is cooler. Who has a bigger sphere of influence. Who has a bigger house. Who has suffered more. Who is in more pain. Who has more knowledge. Who has fucked more girls. Who did more of this. Who is more Islamic. Who is more part of the society. Who has a bigger brain.

I don't know what women go through. Who has a bigger ass? Who has bigger tits? I don't know. I don't care.

An endless series of competitions. Races. Comparisons. Who is in the right.

Well, how about this for a comparison: who gives a shit?

I guess mankind is addicted to win-lose scenarios. They are in a constant state of competition.

And all of this - all of it - is to feed the ego. Our egos need to feel bigger than other people. Better than other people.

Early cognitive development encourages this. Our education system nurtures it.

Even the word 'curriculum', means 'chariot horse'*. A reference to how kids compete with each other to get first, second, third place and so on and so forth.

In limited doses, it can drive people to do better things. However, when it dominates your time and your being, then it is counter-productive.

I have always found that shifting the question a bit works wonders. Instead of 'am I better than that person'?, I ask myself, "is what I'm doing better than the last thing I did?" "Is this system or this thing better than that thing."

By de-personalising the issue, by refusing to identify with the product or the task as an extension of yourself, I have managed to get my blood pressure down. My mind not so cluttered. And not desperately trying to do crazy, impossible things just in case my ego is diminished.

I find that it makes things objective and thus, easier to be worked on.

Ah, well. I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm rather lugubrious at the moment.


* Quick check with Wikipedia says 'curriculum' comes from the Latin for 'race course'. Not 'chariot horse'. - Ed