unhappy we are as a nation? We are coming out of deep recession and tremendous suffering was
generated but only for 10% to 15% of the population. That other 85% could easily be more helpful
to those who are suffering but little is being done about it. We all know the litany as these problems
manifest themselves in divorce, drug addiction, acute depression, political divides, anger and bitterness,
widespread discouragement flowing especially today from joblessness, etc., etc. We all know the list.
Well, there are countless complex problems that are facing us. There are an even greater number of
complex causes and the list of solutions seems to be on the weaker side. I recently read reviews of an
excellent book by Eckhart Tolle entitled, Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose. The author writes effectively
and covers many aspects of our lives but I lifted one particular quote that I think is important for many
of us. Tolle is talking about ego needs that disrupt our lives and even when they seem to be fulfilled
create disappointment and unhappiness. Listen to this one.
“The absurd overvaluation of fame is just one of the many manifestations of egoic madness
in our world. Some famous people fall into the same error and identify with the collective
fiction, the image of people and the media have created of them, and they begin to actually see
themselves as superior to ordinary mortals. As a result, they become more and more alienated
from themselves and others, more and more unhappy, more and more dependent on their
continuing popularity. Surrounded only by people who feed their inflated self-image, they
become incapable of genuine relationships.”
Regretfully, this very destructive weakness is common and flows directly from our wounded nature and
Original Sin. Hitler had a bad case of it and 50 million people lost their lives and most of Europe was
flattened. Happily, most of us who live in inordinate appreciation of our virtues, real or imagined, do
not cause damage on that scale, but an exaggerated ego is present in enormous percentage of conflicts
within the family, in the business world and even can affect the international community.
It is very seldom that you see a humble man who is not well liked and deeply appreciated.