We all fall victim to ours at some point in life. We find some great joy in our success, past and present alike. That magical stroke that releases those great chemicals into our brains that cause us to become giddy and pleased with ourselves. It happens, whether you are aware or not. The problem is that we all enjoy that endorphin drip so much that we often seek it out with out thinking through the consequences involved. Simple things get blown out of proportion. Tempers flare. Arguments occur. Fights break out and over what? Often it can be as simple as not wanting to hear that maybe someone has a better idea than yours.
I often encounter these situations and try to step outside of them, analyze them and see if the ensuing argument will be worth the frustration I will endure. My wife would say otherwise, though being the loving husband I am, she gets to bear witness to the sides of me that I conceal from others, both the good and the bad. However, being in the military you find that it tends to draw special types of individuals. Ones that like nothing more than to get high on themselves. They flock to this job like Alaskan crows to trash. They all want to throw in their two cents; they all think they know better than the next guy. Some times it could be as simple as running a plan by some one else and seeing what they say, but no one wants to do that for fear that their ultimate idea is going to be an ultimate failure. So instead they puff up their chest, demand it be done their way and blame the other people when it didn’t go as planned.
I have been witness to it time and time again. Its nearly predictable at this point and many times I have been there to answer questions of “why?” with one simple word: ego.
Most recently I have encountered it in the form of a cavalry scout, who while in a cold weather course with one of our junior ranking soldiers, singled him out and gave him crap through out the whole course. What cav scout didn’t take into account was that the guy had done training in this area many times already and know the area pretty well. So instead of using this guy as an asset he just pissed him off and then got no help from him throughout the course.
Ol’ Mr cav scout also interupted a story I was telling about our first sergeant, to inform me that my information about the cost of building an m24 sniper rifle was incorrect. Instead of the four thousand 1SG would have had to pay to build one back in 1998, super scout seems to think you could build one to spec for around seven hundred. (I’ll just leave this link right here… http://www.defensereview.com/remington-military-rebuildingrefurbishing-u-s-military-sniper-used-m24-sniper-weapon-system-sniper-rifles-for-non-military-sale-very-interesting/ )
But regardless, the point is that when we allow our egos to get the best of us, we do ourselves a disservice. We close doors that could have proven fruitful. We make enemies where none existed before. And generally, we give our species a bad name.
Given that, I propose to you: think beyond yourself. Give others credit when due. Thank others for their help. Give a helping hand when needed, without gloating about giving said help. Thrive to feel good about yourself through getting others to feel good about themselves. Then, its not just you getting to feel great by yourself, but others will benefit as well, and with any luck, they will go on to spread that feeling too. Maybe, if we can all stop being selfish assholes, we can go through our days with less stress, less anger, and, well, fewer assholes in our lives.