Sunday, May 7, 2017

Fitting In

He was surprised to discover upon stuffing his ego into a box he thought would fit it, that there appeared to be a considerable amount left over.

He even sat on the lid to push it down. No way. It not only pushed back, it ripped the lid.

He checked the bottom of the box for the size. Perhaps he had picked up the wrong box, right?

No. It was already the biggest box he could find.

Does this box make my ego look fat?

Well, this is embarrassing, he thought. I wonder how many people have noticed how big my ego is? How's come I never noticed this? I thought my humility covered it.


  1. "Does this box make my ego look fat?" LOVE IT!

    I think if I had written this it would have been my ego as a small boat on a river. At times I hoist the sail and its sails, at other times the wind is dead and I have to row. Other times the boat launches over rapids, even falls over falls. Sometimes I even have to get out and tow it over the shallows, or hump it over dry land where the risk of the current and rocks is too great. Eventually I pass through to the great sea beyond where I know not what awaits me....

    1. Heh. Sounds pretty realistic to me. :)

      When I was very young my mom told me about the ironic nexus between shyness and narcissism.

      You would swear it that one's shyness is obviously the outward behavior of a person with a tiny ego -- one who thinks so little of himself that he'd prefer shrinking back into the walls to entering the crowd, right?

      Not necessarily so, said mom.

      The reality is probably closer to this: Only a person with an ego so big that he assumes the whole room cares who he is, what he looks like, what he has to say...

      ...only a person like that would choose the wall to the crowd.

      The healthy ego assumes a parity of fears and aspirations in the crowd and enters it, confident that nobody in that room is any more judgemental than he.

      I'm not a joiner and I'm definitely not a clapper. When I go to a concert I go because I love music. But I'm not a clapper. I'm not a stand-up-and-dancer.

      I used to think that those people were living the delusion that people might enjoy watching them.

      I had it 180 degrees backwards. They were the ones who didn't care what others thought. They were the ones living in the moment, enjoying the environment to the exclusion of all else.

      I'm the one sitting on my hands, deluded that anyone in the crowd of 1,000 might be watching me make a fool of myself.

      Things ain't always the way they seem.

    2. you should post this! Awesome! :)

      Reminded me of something I read in the NYTimes:

      "Although it can feel as if your flaws and missteps are the focus of everyone’s attention, research in social psychology suggests otherwise. In a classic study from the 1990s, for example, participants put on a shirt emblazoned with the face of the singer Barry Manilow and then walked into a room full of people. Later, when asked how many people in the room would be able to identify what was on their shirt, the participants significantly overestimated: It turned out that only half the number of people noticed as they had thought.

      Now here’s the bad news. Most of the time, when you’re minding your own business and feeling relatively inconspicuous, you’re being watched much more than you realize."

    3. I have a gut feeling that this same phenomenon explains in part the love of wood firing pottery.

      It might take a while to explain, though. :)