Why are Senior citizens so full of Ego?
I requested a senior citizen friend of mine to collect my Diagnostic Test Results from an SCA where he was planning to go. He said: "I do not do such things like collecting reports for others". His contention is that he retired as a big shot and it is infra dig to do such menial things. Another person mentions a long list of his degrees and affiliations as a part of his routine signature. These are simple examples of a dancing ego.
Everyone has ego. No exceptions, even so called God men have it. Scriptures, Preachers, teachers and Swamins tell us that we should give up our ego. This does not happen and is the most difficult to achieve. However I think this question of giving up ego becomes very important as you age and stand nearer to your grave. By then one should have realized the futility of name, fame, wealth and similar attachments – all that is "mine, me, myself and I". This does not seem to be happening as a natural course of gaining experience and wisdom. Why so? Let us examine this issue.
The Ego with we are tied up permanently is the result of extreme, repeated, unavoidable conditioning that we received right from our childhood. Actually we are not responsible for it. Ego gets nurtured over years by societal pressures and it expectations. Something that we have internalized for years becomes a part of us and inseparable. Hence the difficulty in dissociating oneself from Ego. Dividends for retaining and pampering the Ego are high. Whereas benefits to a ego-less person are minimal. A sense of ego is necessary to push yourself up into action towards fulfilling your desires. No one would bother a person who appears ego-less.
Senior Citizens, especially in India think they have a right to demand respect from youngsters merely because they are age. During their employment period they were bosses to a few or many persons and enjoyed power over others. They can not give up this habit. Giving up ego is a question of learning new behavior. Many senior citizens may have given up learning after their school days. Some are lucky to be pampered around even after retirement. This gives them a false sense of pride which they wish to retain.
The solution lies in total realization that, at least in later part of life where one does not depend upon the society for day to day living, Conquering ego yields really rich dividends like peace of mind, deeper understanding of oneself, a sense of self fulfillment, nearness to God or self realization etc. A feeling of having lived a life in full – satiation effect – should make it easier to give up ego. Let us try – it is worth it.