On egos

spec sheet from a salesmanGoing through a stack of paper at work revealed a proposal from a possible vendor. I remembered meeting the guy. He was nice – but his attitude turned me off a bit. He seemed fairly proud and may not have been a good listener. He didn’t really come across as understanding that I might know as much – or more – about his product as he did.

My memories of that encounter were summed up in a single word: ego.

But then I quickly remembered my strong tendency to point the finger at others when I have that problem myself.

Yes, ugly pride.

C.S. Lewis said: “If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.” (This quote is from his book Mere Christianity, and I found it via an interesting blog post. The emphasis is mine.)

Paul said it a different way: “”Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3b).

So get off your high horse, self, and remember that Mr. Vendor Guy was trying to make a connection with a potential customer in the best way he could.

And maybe he’s really good at what he does.


Paul Merrill writes here every first Friday.