The other week I was walking down the street in the Burlington area, minding my own business when this guy approached me. I do believe his smell hit me before he got within 20 feet. My breathing swallowed to try saving my lungs from the emanating pollutants from this individual.
He looked at me as if surprised to see me standing there. Seconds later when he appeared to regain some of his conscious awareness of where he was and me nearby, he spoke. He looked at me at said, “Your ego and pride keep you from the fruits of life and let life defeat you. Be like me, egoless and pride-less and prosper like I do.” Then he turned and continued on his way, stopped every once in a while to say the exact same thing to numerous other bodily odor assaulted people. Oh how opinions vary.
I stood rather stunned as I watched this ragtag of a human stagger away. Atop his head sat this mountain of what looked like ancient long forgotten coil of dirty rope left in the corner of some dilapidated barn and I found myself wondering how many insects called it home. His legs were partly covered by what I thought to be jeans long since debauched by filth and perhaps saw blades with as many tears crisscrossing them. Adorning his feet was a seemingly paper-thin pair of flip-flops. Raggedly hanging from his upper body was a mud brown, sheer and savagely torn cloth kind of thing I believe he was passing for a shirt. His face was so thickly matter with face hair long bereaved of any sort of soap it was hard to see his features. To top it all off he carried what looked to be a burlap bag of sorts. I doubt this guy was older than 25.
A couple hours later I passed by the same guy sitting on the street staring at the concrete with a small bowl in front of him and a scribbled cardboard sign reading, “ You generosity is Godly.”
I shook my head inside and walked onward. Yep, he sure looked like life was smiling upon him as he prospered, hummm.
Like I have said before, ego and pride have their place in this life. Without the ego we would accomplish nothing and without a form of pride we would not invest quality time and energy into everything we do while we are here. We just have to make sure both the ego and pride and carried in a balanced way – centered, not too much or too little. The ego and pride are tools, just like emotion, just like a hammer or spade. If they are used in balance many beneficial things can be created with their energy. Too much and one tries to manipulate and concur everything while causing lots of harm along the way, like in that story called The Wolf of Wall Street. Too little and you may end up like that guy I described above.