Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Some people are compulsive exhibitionists. You can find them almost anywhere they would do anything to get noticed. At a wedding, they want to be the bridegroom and at a funeral, the corpse.

Julius Caesar, who was an incorrigible egotist, was kidnapped when he was a child. He was held for a ransom of 11,000 gold pieces. Horrified, he exhorted his captors to raise the ransom amount to 2,50,000 gold pieces so as to preserve his prestige.

William Shakespeare said: "Praises are my wages. Agreed American writer Mark Twain: "I can live an entire week on compliments alone." More recently, musician Elton John said: "Even if I had only a single finger left, I would play the piano to be loved."

There are very few people who do not like being the centre of attraction. They are the ones who are able to derive their nourishment from within. They are the true giants of humanity; the others are insignificant.

The truly great are those who know their weaknesses and are not afraid to admit them. They accept their limitation and blend with the crowd because they know that when it comes to the basics, everyone is the same.

Whether rich or poor, American Afghan or Indian, we all have the same emotion deep within us to protect the family, educate children, provide for health care, to be free to walk the streets in safety, to have time for oneself, to contribute to the good of the world and to leave one's mark, however small, on history. And the last is something all human beings do for better or for worse. Even an ant does not go through this world without effecting its outcome in some way.

From the worldly perspective, humility can be imbibed by realising that the population of the planet is six billion. If there was only one person on earth, he would have all the rights of law, legislation, amendment and ownershop.

Today, six billion people share equal rights that is just one six billionth rights per person. Yet, unable to come to terms with this reality, some people behave as through they are owners of the planet.

They are unable to take a back seat in any subject. They demand to be glorified and welcomed at every meeting. To sustain their narcissistic beliefs, some can go to the extent of humiliating others under any banner or guise, whether it be religion, country or justice.

God-consciousness is the permanent cure for egomania. Ego usually translates into 'he-go' or 'she-go'. With god-consciousness, it transforms into 'I-go'. When one realises the infinite greatness and glory of god, where is there room for self-pride?"

King Canute, who ruled England in the 11th century, one day placed his golden throne on teh seashore. He sat on his throne and waited for the tide to come in. Eventually it did and wetted his feet. He repeatedly ordered the tide to go back, but it did not. In fact, it returned with even greater fury and overturned his throne.

Canute threw off his crown and never wore it again. It was sherpa Tenzing who said: "It is with god Himself as it is with a great mountain. The important thing is to come to Him not with fear, but with love."

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