Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Thin Red line

This post is about a person whom i used to meet almost everyday on my way to college. No, he is not know to me, and i never did bother to find out about him. I could have if I wanted to, but I havent tried so far. But he does have a gravitational pull around him, which is due to his attribute of speech. It is on a bus that i see him, everyday, almost sitting at the same place each day, with almost unfailing regularity. He has a pleasant face with a curved mustache,a typical charachteristic of a south indian. His mannerisms arent what one would call as gentle. He has a grotesque way of presenting himself. Perhaps that was one which made me look towards him for the first time.

He speaks usually of his days at Army and at New Delhi. Plus he is extremely repetitive, because, unfortunately his co-passengers are never the same. Perhaps, they might even avoid sitting near him after listening to his heroic extempore once. His speeches include, as I said, about his army experiences and his heroics. He says that he can shoot as well as any olympic gold medallist and in fact better than them. He then goes on to say the story of how he managed to down a wild fox from quite a distance. I always used to think
Either this fellow is as good as he claims to be or the saying "as wise as fox" is false

The fox must have been stupid enough to get killed by this character !!! And he is usually returned with a sarcastic smile each day, yet he manages to say the same stuff to some poor unfortunate guy, who in his ignorance manages to sit beside him.

But his words and more importantly his tone of speech made me think of somthing more imortant. I used to take his speech as "trumpet blowing" and him as a conceited person. But then a thought intrigued me, what exactly is the difference between Ego/conceit and self respect. Self respect does not stop with the respect that u carry in others' eyes. It also stands for your admiration of your own abilities. Whats wrong in respecting and stating your own superior abilities ???

Let me move on to a detail analysis of self respect. It has to understood that self respect has a braoder scope than what is usually asoociated with the word. If a person says that
I am good, I can do that, I am confident of that, Thats too easy for me, I ll do it better than many around

These words are often despised by most of us. We immediately brand him as ignorant and arrogant. And what if he does manage to stand by what he claimed ? We immediately say He's good . But whats the use ? He is too conceited. I was no exception to the thought. I had branded many a people as a conceited fellow. But now, as i come to think of it, I feel that i was too hasty. Too much bad influence from the surroundings.I now begin to feel strongly that proclaiming your achievements and capabilities to others arent exactly bad.

Come to think of ego or conceit. Theres not much difference between ego and self respect. These are in fact separated by a thin line. What i say might not be true or could be corrugated facts... but hell !! its my blog and I can write what i feel... So coming to my thoughts on that.. The difference is very minute. When one says "I can do it" it can be his self respect. But when he says "I alone can do it" it shifts a bit to become Ego. Again " I can do better than X " it shifts marginally into the self respect spectra. " I wont allow anyone else to do it" and "I cant bear others doing it" goes into the Ego domain.

Hey, able to spot any demarcation ?? well, I am trying hard not to be influenced by my prejudice. Perhaps this is what Ayn rand has been regularly mentioning when she says about the people of the "mind", the capable ones who run the society by virtue to their merit and demand the respect they thoroughly deserve.This discussion has stemmed from the fellow at the bus, prolly I should thank him when i see him in the bus tomorrow. He did give me a tough proposition to work on. In fact i am now looking forward to meet him tomorrow .....


Vivek said...

First 2 comment :D
Even i have respect for those who r confident and do wateva they promise...n ever since i read Rand,my respect for such kinda ppl has doubled :D

Trinity Teal™ said...

1st viive and now u..
wats wit every1 and rand???
anyway, everyone must have something called self-respect. Not conceit, over-confidence or super-ego. an ego must be present in everyone. but i guess u find it diff to clearly define a demarcation because all these levels are relative... pertaining to each individual at a diff scale.

nIrAnJaNa said...

hmmm... all that kinda made sense to me... but ppl rnt exactly all that patient/considerate to weigh a supposedly vain comment n give it a score on the self respect/ego scale, r they??? acc to me, to the heck with wat ppl think abt u, if blowing ur trumpet makes u feel good, then do so by all means... as for other ppl's trumpets, if theyre playing a mighty good tune, then id not particularly mind listening :p

Mighty Titan said...

@ viive

Machi.. rand has this effect on u da.. I ve been thinking of writing about this post for a long time but wasnt sure if it would be understood... But thanks to ur involvement with Rand i had the motivation :D .. So this post is as much to u as it is mine...

Mighty Titan said...

@ trinity

Very true fact.. it's pretty delicate and is mighty tuff to draw a line of demarcation. And abt Rand, read the books and it ll become an obsession !!!

Mighty Titan said...

@ niranjana

Ur thoughts on turning a deaf ears to others comments might be a solution but remember that u could be living in ur own shell of ego, that even u couldnt identify that u r living with ego. Thae might be pretty much the same situation.. an analysis of yourself could be a better solution that i can think of... I hope i am making things clearer to u.. :D


Ego and Self-respect... Same?
I quote below the relevant portions of a blog which would perhaps evoke more discussions if not to clarify the diff ....
quote (part... relevant to ego):
Recently I received questions vide a personal e-mail. The ensuing discussion, I felt, would be of interest to blog readers....
The sender had asked......
"what is the difference between ego and self respect."

My Reply :
Thank u for your mail and your kind query. The question is very thought provoking and the intensity of the question can be only felt by a person who is very keen about spiritual growth, though apparently the question looks very 'general'.
Ego, has to be understood contextually, since the application of the word with multi faceted meanings is more of contextual relevance than isolated meaning.. especially, when discussing with reference to spirituality. For example, in spiritual path we say, the very bond of body and the being is due to a little bit of ego, which is essential for sustaining the 'togetherness'... which perhaps explains why some 'attained' souls just 'leave' the body and 'vanish !!' after they 'attain'. This subject instantly takes us very deep into a very interesing area of spirituality and only a direct interaction can do justice to a sincerely interested person.
The importance of self-respect can be better understood by trying to look at the situation in the absence of it... A person who lacks adequate self-respect is vulnerable to un-necessary misery inflicted upon him by people who are fond of exploiting such situation... Otherwise, self respect, in spiritual path merely means to acknowledge one's milestones to enable to progress further meaningfully instead of repeating the processess unecessarily due to(or because of) 'over-humility' !

4:56 PM
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