The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Monday, June 20, 2016

How Big Is Your Ego?

English: Then President of the United States o...
 Then President of the United States of America, George W. Bush invited then President-Elect Barack Obama and former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter for a Meeting and Lunch at The White House. Photo taken Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009 in the Oval Office at The White House. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       Summer's ego is flaring with a vengeance in the southwestern U.S.   Predictions are that we in Los Angeles will be seeing unusually high temperatures for the next ten days or so.   Forecasters are saying that places like Las Vegas and Phoenix will be seeing temps in the 120 degree range.  Not especially unique for those folks who live there, but damn hot any way you look at it.  And summer of 2016 has barely begun.  What does this bode for the upcoming months?

        One thing we in the U.S. are facing is a heated political climate with an idiosyncratic presidential race ahead of us.  The primaries were kindergarten stuff compared to what we might be seeing in the months ahead of us.  Divisiveness of the parties and the nation as a whole may set tempers flaring and nasty words flying.

        Plenty is said about the over-inflated ego of Donald Trump.  No denying that the guy has a super big ego.  What public figure doesn't?   Bill and Hillary Clinton both have such humongous egos that one can only wonder how they can stand each other's company.  The ego of Barack Obama shows an air of superiority that gives him a sense that he's talking down at us or lecturing us. Even the good out boy presidents like George W. Bush or Jimmy Carter are driven by ego otherwise they would have never made it as far as they did.

        An egoistic Fidel Castro fueled a revolution to overthrow one dictator's grandiosity to replace it with his own bloated self-image that expected total allegiance or else from the citizens of his nation.  Recently, the passing of Muhammad Ali reminded us of the swaggering young Cassius Clay who pronounced "I am the greatest" and charmed much of the public with his egotistical antics. By no means was I a fan of Ali, but I will admit I was amused by his early escapades before he changed his name and became what some feel was a traitor to his country.

       We are entitled to our opinions just as we have a right to brand ourselves in whatever way we wish.  Criticism can be expected when we put ourselves in the public eye, but when we attack another we are attacking ego and that is like going for the throat.  Backlash can be expected from some while hurt might be the outcome for others.   Even those with the most fragile egos will usually make some attempt to defend their pride, their image, and their sense of self-worth.   My opinions reflect my own ego and when someone attacks my opinion, they are attacking a certain part of who I am.

        Openness to discussing differences is a good thing as is amicable debate concerning why one party believes what they think is right.   If we are open to listening to each other rather than jumping to the conclusion that we have the right answer and nobody can come up with a reasonable counter argument, we might end up learning more about others as well as ourselves.  There are some points, especially those dealing with preference, where there is no right or wrong, but merely a difference of opinion.   If I were dictator of the world, it might be assuaging to my ego for a while, but eventually that world would likely get pretty boring if everyone else were forced to share every opinion that I have.

        This will be the last post in my "Love and Ego" series in the official sense, though this blog will always be some reflection of my own ego and a study of ego in general.  And love will always make appearances here, especially in the many more songs of love that I have in waiting for future Battle of the Bands blog posts.

         Love and ego are ever present with all of us.  Just as the heat that scorches us here in Los Angeles affects the moods and attitudes of those of us who have to deal with feeling the burn (I'm talking climate here), love and ego will shape the directions we take in our lives and influence the way we treat others.

         Between love and ego, do you think one force tends to overpower the other or do you feel there is a parity between the two?    Do you feel that your ego is strong or do you tend be a relatively acquiescent person?     Can you think of any politician without a strong ego?  If so, explain why you think this.






43 comments:

  1. I am not politicaly minded, but I like to know what's going on in the world.
    This was interesting to read Lee.
    Have a good day.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, politics can be upsetting if you get too invested in them. It's a nasty work, but I guess somebody is going to do it whether we like it our not.

      Lee

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  2. If they didn't have an ego, they wouldn't have what it takes to run for office.
    Love is always stronger.

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    1. Alex, that's the way I see it. On both accounts.

      Lee

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  3. I don't know about Carter....he's the only former pres that I admire and respect to be honest. And I think he only won cause he ran against Ford who was only in office for 2 years following the Nixon/Agnew debacle.

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    1. JoJo, Ford is an easily forgotten president. I only remember his notoriety for being clumsy.

      Lee

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    2. I remember him for pardoning Nixon--controversial at the time and now considered by many to have been a wise move. It's funny that he was known for being clumsy because he was an excellent athlete.

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    3. Janie, I recall Ford's falls and mishaps being shown on the news often. Probably another media ruse and diversion.

      Lee

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  4. I think my ego is strong, sometimes embarrassingly so, so I try to keep quiet in order to keep it a secret. I wonder if ego is one of those things that men can flaunt with less criticism than woman.

    I don't usually follow politics closely, but this election is going to be different.

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    1. Tamara, nothing wrong with a strong ego in my opinion as long as it is not an obnoxious ego.

      Lee

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  5. I guess I see ego a bit differently than you describe here. I don't necessarily see ego as a good thing. I distinguish it from self-confidence, which is a good thing. But the ego personality that is bullying or condescending or patronizing, that is something I can do without. And I don't necessarily think that kind of ego is necessary to get ahead and be successful. Gandhi is one person whom I believe was ego-less and look what he accomplished. Ego serves the self, not the greater good. Tough topic to tackle, Lee. Good for you.

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    1. Karen, as I wrote in one of my earlier posts about this topic, I think ego is often put unfairly into an unfavorable light. I see ego and self-confidence as closely intertwined. A strong positive ego is a good and constructive trait in a person. Everyone has ego and to deny ones ego is to display an ego from a different perspective.

      Lee

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  6. An excellent read, Arlee! I hope you will get relief from the heat soon!

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    1. PoP tart, it's hot and getting hotter today. I think we'll have to break down and turn on the AC this afternoon.

      Lee

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  7. I can't stand politics right now. Or the politicians we have. They certainly have ego problems, but to run to be the President of the United States I suppose you need a big ego.

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    1. Chrys, the bigger the ego, the more people listen. And often the big ego equates competency whether right or wrong.

      Lee

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  8. I think we all got a big ego. The gift is being able to recognize when it is popping it's head up. Humility can not be overrated. As far as politics, I vote. I pray the best person wins. Then I focus on only issues I understand.
    Too many sound bites or faulty logic is being promoted in power grabs. We can't stop that. But we all hurt when someone buys into them.

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    1. Ann, we usually keep our ego in check as long as others are treating us right and our world is the way we want it. Egos tend to flare when they need to--it's a defense mechanism and a tool for survival.

      Lee

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  9. Since I am always right, I have no need for a big ego.

    Larry

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    1. And you'll be happy to know it is supposed to be a brisk 155 degrees in Phoenix today...

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    2. Larry, I wouldn't want to be in Phoenix today, but I could probably say that most days.

      Lee

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  10. Honestly makes you wonder how Moses- a man God called the most humble ever- managed to be a leader...

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    1. He had that really cool staff...if you part the Red Sea you have my attention

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    2. CW, God stood in for ego where it came to Moses. I'm sure Moses had plenty of ego on his own, but when God's on your side people listen--sometimes for a while. Look at how all those stiff-necked Jews kept going back to their old habits of complaining.

      Lee

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  11. True, love is supposed to overcome hate. In a perfect world. It's when hatred comes disguised as simply being "different" that it is allowed to flourish. and fester.
    Ego encompasses something in each and everyone of us, whether it's character, pride, soul or spirit. I used to think that only men (and women) of the cloth were not allowed to have egos. Since that clearly isn't true, I guess it's human nature ;-) A politician without an ego? Impossible.

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    1. Diedre, "true" is the key word in your statement. So much of the time a feeling is mistaken for love and it's really more to do with ego.

      Church leaders often have the biggest egos of all just like politicians. To be any kind of leader I think you've got to have an expansive ego.

      Lee

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  12. It has taken years to tamp down my ego into a screw lid jar. God reminds me of humility in its place.

    108? Phoenix is ?118? It doesn't match its high 0f 122, but it is close enough.

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    1. Susan, humility is a good thing especially for a person with powerful ego potential.

      For me, anything over 80 is too hot. Nice thing about hot Phoenix is, as they say, that it's a dry heat. True to an extent, but hot is hot.

      Lee

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  13. Sometimes I think a strong ego is different from an oversized one. I think it's good to have a strong ego because it gets you ahead and people listen but an oversized ego not only makes people listen and some thinking they are in the right but many also realize they are truly bullies not wanting to take any one else's viewpoint. I often think the people who have oversized egos are masking very unhealthy mental issues like Hitler. I don't think I have a strong ego...maybe I am wrong but I am someone who listens to both sides even though I can be strong minded in my ultimate decision. I am very sensitive and have been bullied and I don't think someone with a healthy ego would be bullied. My hubby, on the other hand, has a healthy ego which I think is good overall. I think all presidents and president want to be's have a good ego but some have a healthy one and some...don't. I would say one who had a healthy ego but could play modest and has my strong admiration is Lincoln.

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    1. Birgit, you make an important distinction. If the ego is inclusive of the feelings and needs of others then it's a good thing. An effective leader needs to have a good balance.

      Lee

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  14. I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, except when I need a nap.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie, I seem to need a lot more naps these days than what I used to.

      Lee

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  15. I think I have a strong ego but that I tend to keep my thoughts to myself and listen more than I talk -- that can make me appear acquiescent when it's really just conflict avoidance. I do get so tired of conflict.

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    1. Patricia, I'm often the same way as you, but if you get me started...

      Lee

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  16. Thanks Lee, interesting post. Glad to see you're in favour of ego when it is a healthy one. Ego has a bad reputation, undeserved when it is necessary to have a fully functioning one. Most agree an inflated ego is an awful characteristic.

    I'm surprised you see Obama in the light you do - I'm not an American as you know, but he seems to me to be calm and considered. I wish we had such a pres!

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    1. Susan S., often I think appearances can be deceiving. I think Obama has been a weak ineffectual president who has done much to denigrate America and make it weaker. His false face to the world might have fooled some, but we see the truth in outcome. A third term of Obama's policies through a corrupt politician like Hillary Clinton would be a bad thing for this country. We'll see what happens in November. I hope it's for the best of our nation. And many of us would be happy to give you Obama. I wish he would leave this country and take a lot of his cohorts with him.

      Lee

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  17. Ego gets a bad rap, but a healthy ego is a good thing.

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    1. L.Diane, nothing wrong with a healthy ego.

      Lee

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  18. I think one has to have a big ego (along with really tough skin) to run for office. Politics is all ego.

    Love trumps all! :)

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, I'd probably have a difficult time running for an office. And not enough money anyway.

      Yes, love trumps all and Trump loves all of us. Sounds like a potential campaign slogan.

      Lee

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  19. I avoid politics of all kind, but in my writing, my characters tend to have large egos. It makes them fun to write. I also tend to have a large ego at work amongst my coworkers. They all agree that I'm awesome, and who am I to deny it? ;)

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    1. Loni, I think a large ego in a fictional character is almost imperative in order to make them more interesting and memorable. A strong ego in the workplace can be very important when hoping to exert more influence and develop and image of strength. They are probably right about your awesomeness.

      Lee

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Lee