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Earth Scientist, Author, Mentor, Educationist & Consultant | 20+ years mentoring experience | 40+ books across humanities disciplines | Advisor to Maldivian & Sri Lankan Govt. on Education and Environmental Issues.

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Ethics: The biggest challenge for all


“The biggest challenge for all of us, not just politicians or bureaucrats, is that we, Indians, have the highest ego per unit of achievement”. Comment on this statement and bring out the difference between ego and self esteem.

Why is that Indians who are highly talented, lag behind- is it talent or attitude; why is that Indians are hobbesians, why is that most of the cities have a culture of snobbery, why is that we waste our time more on pulling down others, envying them, being jealous of them rather than focussing on ourself, improving on ourself; why is that we take most of our decisions on the basis of perception, rather than on reality, why is that we prefer to bribe our priests and our gods too, rather than dispensing the same amount to the poor…. The list of such questions may not be endless, but it does cast aspersions on our attitude, our thinking, our interpretation of events and processes.

‘The biggest hurdle that one comes across in India is almost everyone happens to know what you will say, what you will think, and how is it that you are going to act. The toughest hurdle is if they say someone is already doing what you have thought of . There isn’t much to do then for an innovator.

This happens because we nurse our ego more than our self esteem,

Now the issue is-What is the impact of ego on attitude, and how is it different from self esteem.

Ego blinkers your vision, constricts your thinking, it makes you narrow minded, stops your adaptability (Its not the best species that survive, but the most adaptable), prevents your observation-power, blurs your communication, stops your learning process, inhibits your innovative ability and empties your social capital.In ego, you always try to make the others feel down, you look them down, prevent them from rising, and developing, by obstructing them, and then in some extreme cases, you always try to degrade them

Self esteem is different from ego.

In self esteem you always improve upon yourself, always make yourself better, you only compete with yourself so that you are improved to an extent that you are head and shoulders above others. In self esteem, you improve yourself to your satisfaction, beyond anyone’s reach without imitation. In ego you do not know yourself, in self esteem you have a higher degree of self understanding. Self esteem improves your ability to know yourself.

In ego you try to change others, obviously this is strength, in self esteem you control yourself, you overpower yourself and that is absolute power.

Ego makes you judgemental, self esteem adaptable, and a learner. Ego prevents your receptivity, self esteem increases your receptivity. Thus, Ego prevents innovation, self esteem propels you towards innovation, and knowledge.

Ego clutters your mind, self esteem empties it, allows free interaction.

Ego makes you transactional, self esteem allows you to be a donor, donor of wealth, knowledge, effort and insights.

Ego is weakness self esteem is strength.

Questions, suggestions and comments


  1. Profile photo of Muskan Dalal Muskan Dalal

    Sir , Ego has nothing to do with right or wrong .According to Sigmund freud’s ego is only a state of conscious thinking and have different levels Like child ego ,parents ego and it is synonyms of self importance also .
    What u r writing about ego that is negative attitude Attitude can be postive or negative .

    1. Profile photo of Pawan Roy Pawan Roy

      If u go by Swami Vivekananda’s ideal of ego, work and nation building Than the defination changes.. Selfless service can only be committed when ego is subsumed. With this ego all we understand is Gain and Loss, All we care for is what ‘I’ will get and not what ‘I’ can give.
      No doubt ego is required to have a Self identity and assertiveness in the society, But we should be the one to Control the ego, Our Attitude should be selfless service without any motif of gain or loss..
      I insist u should for once consider his point of view too..

  2. Profile photo of Purva srivastava Purva srivastava

    If ego persists in any society , then no doubt such society will fall. In case of India, Indians have high degree of ego . so at international arena country is lagging behind. In case of ego, we think ourselves more superior than others and therefore he possibility of rectification in our behavior, character, attitude and mind is zero. Without any such type of rectification in our present no chances of any constructive growth and development. further due to ego we waste a major part of our time to criticize others. which also kills the possibility of any positive change. for instance, he winter session of parliament is unable to perform any work, lot of important issues and blls are pending to discuss because of the disruption created by opposition. along with many other factors, ego is one crucial reason for such distru7ption. Opposition party thinks that ruling party is not so superi0or to formulate any right policy. So, they find many absurd errors and stop the passes of bills.
    But, self esteem is a positive quality. In case of self esteem, one try to improve his character. So, self esteem increases ones receptivity , propels towards innovation and knowledge. Self esteem makes one a doner of wealth, knowledge, effort and insights.
    If we consider the example from our olden past, India had fame as ‘Vishwa Guru’ because of providing knowledge to other countries. So, ego is weakness and self esteem is strength. Self esteem brings many other qualities like – reverence, impartiality, morality, kindness, honesty etc.
    Any country can grow only with strength of masses. Today’s all solution of India’s major problems like – castesim, gender, race, poverty, corruption, environment and terrorism etc can be solved only with self esteem type attitude.

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