Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Too Much Ego or Too Little?

We have been blessed in that our congregation has finally found a new organist/choir director after searching for almost a year.  Hip-Hip Hooray!

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to visit with her for an hour or so as we talked about the job, her expectations, and how things would be handled.

Of course, we exchanged questions continually throughout our visit.  At one particular point, she asked me how I would feel if I had picked a hymn and she wanted to change it.  Would that pose a problem.

I initially responded, "That's no big deal.  As I told you earlier, this is your program and  your domain.  My ego's not too big that I can't handle such a thing."

Then I paused...

After a moment of hesitation, I said, "Let me rephrase that.  My ego's big enough that such a thing doesn't bother me at all."

I know most of the time when we see someone react poorly to criticism, correction, or suggestion, we tend to think they have a big ego.  They think of themselves so highly, they are above such things.

However, what if the exact opposite is true?  What if someone's ego is actually too small and such suggestions, comments, critiques, and the like actually threaten that person at this level?  What if such a person's ego is too small to have developed a very important quality called humility?

As I reflected upon my own life, the times I reacted harshly to criticism and suggestion were the times I was not being humble; I was not being mature; I was threatened by such suggestion.  However, as I have (hopefully) grown and matured, I have become less threatened by critique, criticism, or suggestion.  In fact, I have come to welcome such things--especially from those who know more about a subject matter than myself.  Simply put, as my ego has grown and I have become more comfortable in my own skin, the less I react and get upset by those who disagree with my point of view or those who offer me another way of thinking about or doing things.  Maturity has taught me the value of humility.

So, am I correct in such thinking?  Do those who react strongly suffer from too much ego or too little?

1 comment:

Kathy said...

You are mixing two areas of thought together. Sadly, as Protestantism moves farther and farther away from Catholicism, the Teachings of the Church are lost....

Ego is a concept from 19th century Psychology. Humility is a Christian concept, and the Saints have taught extensively about it.

Humility is Truth. It is understanding that you and I are creatures, not God. We know that we are not superior or inferior to each other. We learn to grow in love in the Church.