This. This is the kind of quote that’s very easy for people to misinterpret, which makes it a perfect quote for the Other Perspectives series. Be very careful with this quote. Someone created this and wrote the statement with a heart full of hope that they had warned someone else to watch for this challenge in life. It’s very thoughtful. But it’s dangerously ambiguous. Because if it’s from a person who’s talking from ego then what they’re saying is that some people have badness within them that they must suppress or it will emerge. If that’s what the quote means then don’t listen to that because it’s well intentioned but misleading. If however they meant that they know their own ego from the observer-perspective, and they have identified their egos destructive habits as a way of avoiding them, then that would we wise. But if the latter case were true then it would be unlikely the person would have used terms like “careful” or “destructive.” It would have read more like, “I’m aware my ego has some tendencies that lead me to negative consequences so I endeavour to stay mindful of them.” Whereas this comes across more as, “I was born with something wrong with me because I often undermine myself for reasons I don’t understand.” Stick with the first definition. You don’t need to be worried—you’re a fundamentally a good person. You just have to manage your peccadilloes so they never reel out control to the point where you’re forcing or coercing or manipulating otherwise unwilling participants to be involved in what you’re doing. And for the vast vast vast majority of people that’s not hard at all. So rather than the world having to worry about bad people, we’ll do more good by stopping unhealthy limiting thoughts about ourselves. Here’s hoping you use this to springboard yourself into kinder, gentler thoughts about yourself. Have a great week!
Note: Everyone who posts or shares a quote does so with the very best of intentions. That said, I have created the series of Other Perspectives blog posts in an effort to prevent some of these ideas from entering into people’s consciousness unchallenged. These quotes range from silly to dangerous and—while I intend no offense to their creators—I do use these rebuttals to help define and delineate the larger message I’m attempting to convey in my own work. I do hope you find them helpful in your pursuit of both psychological and spiritual health.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own overthinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.