Our egos serve an important purpose. They help us navigate this world and deal with its slings and arrows. But we can identify too much with them. And when we do, we lose touch with our more authentic self. To see the bigger picture, be more fully alive, and treat each other justly, we must eventually surrender our egos. Narcissistic ego inflation interferes with that.
Self-esteem is about our sense of what we have going for us. Self-respect is more about what we have done with our gifts. And both reflect the kind of relationship we have with a “higher power.”
It’s hard to develop a balanced sense of self-worth in a culture that promotes and rewards egomaniacal thinking and a sense of entitlement.
To be genuinely open, we have to accept the inevitability of pain. And if we don’t transform any pain we do experience, we’re certain to transmit it.
I must say, I’ve fallen in love with Puerto Rico. I’ve come to love the beauty of the land and the indomitable character of its people. Largely poor by our economic standards, Puerto Ricans are truly rich in spirit. In the midst of hardship, life still flourishes – a testament to both its resilience and preciousness.
Sound character requires that we outgrow our innate egocentricity. And it’s more than an emotional or psychological exercise. It’s a profound spiritual undertaking.
Spiritual growth and character growth go hand-in-hand. And such growth is all about relationship – to ourselves, others, and our concept of a “higher power.”
Fighting is an integral part of life. But how we fight matters. Fighting fairly, with principal, and constructively, with care not to needlessly injure is what decent character is all about.
There are many ways to abuse power in relationships. That’s true whether you’re talking about workplace relationships, intimate relationships, or even political and governmental affairs. So many times we face imbalances of power. And that’s why character matters so much.
Our narcissistic culture has fueled much ego inflation. Healthy self-esteem will flourish when society decides to make character matter again.