Our ego is at the heart of our selfish thoughts and acts. It’s that voice in our head that is distinctly ours. It’s the ego in us that wants to be seen, heard, and admired. The ego needs to be important.
We often will try to avoid the “ego” by doing good in the world. We do something bigger than ourselves. We promote a cause, stand up for those who might be vulnerable or call out those who are acting unjustly.
But it’s often the “benevolent ego” that is driving these actions. It’s that voice in our heads that says “I need to be acknowledged for doing what’s right!” that speaks so loudly.
In some cases, our good deeds are simply to satisfy our Benevolent Ego’s desires.
This is not to say we shouldn’t strive to live a life of principled action. But it is a warning to be reflective on why it is you champion your cause.
Are you doing good because you are supposed to? Because you want to be on the right side? Or are you genuinely here to help?
Signs of The Benevolent Ego
It’s easy to determine if your ego is at play. Notice how you feel when people question your actions, or when they disagree with what you say. The benevolent ego will become upset and defensive. It will be angry if your good is called into question!
The benevolent ego also requires that you share your good deeds with everyone. It likes to tell others what it thinks is important. It will proclaim wherever possible, “look at this important cause that I am brave enough to champion.”
An unchecked ego is harmful. You’ll look down on others to build yourself up. Your ego will spill into other parts of your life, and make it harder to build authentic relationships, be confident, and happy.
If your ego is not at the root of your doing good, you’ll know as well. The true self will accept, listen, and engage with a level of understanding.
We can all leave a positive mark on this world to which we mutually belong. Just be sure you come with your whole heart and not the maddening ego.