How to keep your ego in check with reality

Some would say the impossible happened on Aug. 5 of this year. Early on that blistering summer morning a wonderful thing took place on a runway in Los Angeles, California. Two American journalists (Euna Lee and Laura Ling) held captive in a North Korean prison camp for close to five months came home to America, courtesy of former President Clinton’s strategic diplomacy.

When I saw that plane touch down on the early morning news, I said out loud, “Thank God they’re home.” I am sure journalists here in America and all over the world breathed a collective sigh of relief and hopefully journalists held in captivity everywhere can and will soon be released.

With that being said, I really want to touch on another underlined issue that might have not been so obvious. I want to focus on what I call keeping egos in check. It’s fair to say President Obama and former President Clinton have a great deal of respect for each other but more importantly than that they seem very capable of working together to get a problem solved without worrying about who gets all the credit.

After the reporters returned home the debates with my friends began and I heard so many people say Obama should have gone and got those reporters himself and Clinton, since he is now a former president, should have stayed home. I phrased it nicely here; my friends were not so nice. I learned a different lesson a long time ago I would love to share with you now.

When I was a young girl, just entering the seventh grade, I had a Home Economics teacher that put her faith in me, little did both of us know the lessons she would teach that year would focus more around shaping and tending young egos then it would on baking, cooking and sewing.

That year our Home Economics teacher decided our class would put on a fashion show at the end of the school year to showcase all of the student’s hard work. All the girls were thrilled about this decision but some of us knew even though the fashion show would be fun, it would require a lot of preparation and attention to detail.

My teacher put me in charge of cataloging and writing the descriptions of all the pieces that would be presented at the show. My teacher’s final decision was to also make me the presenter of the fashion show along side a co-presenter, my best friend Beverly. Some would say that’s just too much power for some book worm, but my teacher felt I was up for the challenge, she know better than I did.

As the year went on I noticed my friend could have cared less about helping me tend to all the minor details that went in to getting the show up and running. Beverly spent most of her time hanging out at the local pizza joint, checking out boys and doing, well doing what girls do. She did however, make it painfully clear to me she only designed fashions not tend to insignificant details.

As you can guess, someone’s ego was about to take a beating; a best friend and friend showdown. I finally had to tell my friend if she was not willing to do any of the pre-show work then she was not going to stand on stage with me and share the spotlight. Was I an egomaniac hyped up on sugary childhood treats? No, not really. Once all was said and done my friend relented and gave me props for standing up for myself and my teacher was glad I didn’t let anyone trample over me with their oversized ego. That year I graduated from the seventh grade flunky of best friend to a young lady who gets the job done.

Managing ones ego can be very tricky, if you don’t believe me, just ask Kanye West. Just keep this in mind whenever you are doing your best at working, producing, solving a problem or just being a decent human being, there will be no need to shout “Look at me!” because when you know who you are your light will illuminate and shine and be forever present for all the world to see.
Bobbie Jones is an EMU Alum who is now working as a freelance journalist._

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