Thursday, April 10, 2014

No-Nonsense Chayaisms-Ego...Emotions...Empowerment


We use this word everyday and not as Freud or Jung defined. We use it to refer to men! Men have this ‘ego problem’ feel women, what is Ego? Is it bad to have it? Is it easy to get rid of? I think it is good to have Ego.  An ardent fan of Ayn Rand, I loved her book Anthem (my hymn to man’s ego) in which she says, This one god, this one word: ‘I’. sacred word: ‘Ego’ For Ayn Rand, the self is like a god, but is not a god in the religious sense. The ego or self is a “god” in that it is one’s highest value, the source of what is good in life on Earth. I also like what Lee Iacocca said about Ego-he distinguishes between the strong ego and the large ego. The former stems from faith in oneself and is constructive while the latter originates from an inflated opinion of oneself and comes in the way of interpersonal relationships. I think it is this kind that we are confronted with every day, at family, social and workplace levels. Taking pride in ones work or achievement is not ego-but expecting others to be in awe of it is ego. This ego business manifests itself right from childhood. Saying sorry is the most difficult word for children and later as adults, even more so. If only we can accept the fact that the world is not made for us but we are made to serve the world, then ego clashes will not come in the way of collective progress. Many marriages rock because of clash of the ‘I’ syndrome. More so these days women are asserting their presence as equal partners in life. When this ‘I’ and ‘mine’ rears its head in any relationship, replacing ‘we’ and ‘ours’, there is bound to be conflict.       

There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours. Women are branded ‘emotional’ like it is a negative quality. Crying is considered a woman’s weakness. It is good to be emotional as it shows you feel and if you feel, you care. It is good to cry because it relieves stress and purges you of unwanted emotions like anger and frustration. This means there are positive emotions like love, concern, happiness and joy-and negative emotions like hate, anger, jealousy and frustration. We all have a combination of these which in dance terms is called ‘Navarasa’ or nice emotions. But the combination varies in each person, depending on circumstances. What makes you a good human being is the balance between negative and positive emotions. Men are supposed to be ‘rational’ and it is a positive trait as against the emotional quotient of women. I would think it is wise to take a decision in a rational frame of mind and once taken, implement it with emotion- naturally the positive kind!


Every woman must be prepared for the worst while hoping for the best. Many women take it for granted that they have a husband who will support them and they are content being home makers. Fine, till destiny has other plans. They get caught off guard and grope in the dark. Women should be like the Armed Forces-use peacetime to prepare for wartime. While the going is good, they should empower themselves with skills and hone their existing talents. These will come to their aid if the loving husband runs after another woman and abandons her or just dies of cardiac arrest. Surprisingly, it was my husband who encouraged me to commercialise my hobby of writing and speaking as he, being in the Armed Forces, felt I had to be equipped to face any eventuality. He empowered me to be the confident woman I am. I love this definition of empowerment-inwardly independent but subtly dependent on those you love.