Life Thoughts

Ego, Respect and Humility.


A few weeks ago, people were talking about the ‘Listen Listen Listen‘ incident that happened up north. Some of my friends asked me, why not blog about it? After I think about it, I didn’t want to write anything too specific about that particular incident, ’cause it’d be too cliche for bloggers to blog about something that’s viral at the moment. But then, I think, hey, why not write something more general, so people would be able to connect to it?

Everyone has ego. What differs is the amount of ego you have. Some people have a high ego, others, not so much. Ego and self-esteem are not the same. A professor saying that he is knowledgeable in Geography and Psychology is an example of a person having high ‘self-esteem‘, but a professor telling his students that he is better than them, that’s just plain ego.

Having a higher level of education as compared to another person does not necessarily mean that you’re better than them. Even if you’re older and, in your eyes, more successful than the other person just because you have a good job that pays you a lot of money, that does not measure the level of intellect that you have.

Screw the education system that limits our freedom to think. Screw the system that turned us into robots who only know how to memorize facts and spit them out during examinations. Screw the system that made us behave like copying machines. Screw it.

Silence do not mean that you understand the topic. And asking questions does not mean that you’re stupid. It means that you’re paying enough attention and want to know more. It means that you’re curious enough to ask beyond what was told.

The way Ms Sharifah criticized Bawani’s act of asking questions reminded me of a certain teacher of mine back in high school, when I was scolded for asking too many questions during class. What’s wrong with asking questions, anyway? Shouldn’t you be proud of us for caring enough to ask questions? *le sigh*

“No… I haven’t finished…”
“Listen. Listen.”
“I haven’t finished.”
“Listen. Listen. Listen.”
“At least let me finish.”
“Listen. Listen. Listen.”

“Number one, Mr, Mrs Bavarni, Miss Bavarni, thank you very much for coming up for having the guts. Question number one, when this is our program we allow you to speak. Number two, when I speak you listen.”

“I came up to her, shook hands with her, gave her respect as another woman. I did give her respect. Do you think I need to answer her question with this attitude?”

Shaking hands does not show respect. And if you really do respect a person, you might at least let them finish talking before interrupting. Haven’t your mother taught you that? Never to interrupt someone who’s talking? Never to insult someone in public? Never to look down on someone, no matter how good you are?

Respect has to be earned, not given.

There’s two types of respect. One is based on your wealth, your position and your fame. This is an impermanent respect, and it’d be gone once all your wealth, position and fame are gone. The other is based on your virtues and personality. This type of respect last forever, as long as your virtues stay intact. To earn respect, first you must give others respect. That’s the rule. You can never force anyone to respect you.

Just because you’re a hotshot at a big company, that doesn’t mean that you can demand respect from everyone around you. Practice a little humility, respect others as equals, even if they are earning lower salaries or have lower education than you. Once you learn to respect others, others would automatically respect you in return.

This goes out to everyone out there, whoever you are. Remember, whenever you’re at the top of the ladder, never look down on the others below you. ‘Cause, if you do, you’d fall right back to the bottom, and things would never be the same again for you.


I guess the things I wrote up there pretty much relate to the Listen incident. *sigh* That wasn’t my initial aim, I guess. I kinda wanted to write something more general. *le me digressing from the original topic* Okay, so for something more personal from me…

I admit, I have a high ego. It’s a weakness of mine, and I acknowledge that fact. I used to hate it when people criticize me. I never liked it when people tell me what to do. My ego controlled me, causing some of the people around me to hate me. (and it sucks, seriously) But, over the past few years, I have been trying to contain it, to control it.

I have tried to be more open to ideas, open for new improvements, new perspective in everything that I do. I tried to open my heart to other people, to allow them to share their thoughts, their opinions. And I realized that, by doing this, I am actually making people like me. People wouldn’t think I’m weak if I ask for their help, but instead, they’d help me with open arms.

But, for some people, I guess they value their ego more than anything else.

I have seen people who would totally push other people away, and stick to their ideas, and their ideas only. I have heard people bashing and criticizing other people’s opinions just because they think they’re right. I have witnessed countless arguments where people right over things to do just because their egos are too high to accept the other’s opinions.

What’s wrong with accepting other people’s ideas? You’re not always right. Humans are not perfect, and everyone’s bound to make mistakes here and there. Even if you’ve accomplished something in the past, it does not mean that you’re capable to accomplish other things on your own. Be humble enough to listen to other people. Acknowledge their presence and their thoughts. Who knows? Maybe they have better ideas. It wouldn’t hurt to let them help you, right? It can help you win their respect too, you know?

Think about it…

Would you rather have a high ego and less friends, or would you rather lower your ego but have more friends who likes you?


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