Tuesday, 23 February 2016
At least if someone has an obvious ego, you can make a point of avoiding them. It's trickier when someone has an ego but pretends they don't and you get sucked in. They seem modest enough, but scratch the surface and there's the familiar self-importance and craving for attention and adulation.
I don't have much ego myself (no, really....). I've no desire to be seen as important or the centre of attention or a role model or a trend-setter. I'm happy to be anonymous and unremarkable. My impulse when surrounded by other people is not to have all eyes on me but to merge into the background. In fact the idea of being the centre of attention and subject to sharp-eyed scrutiny is quite alarming. Who knows what personal foibles will be eagerly pounced on?
I shudder at the thought of being a role model or a trend-setter. What, me with all my myriad hang-ups and fixations and shortcomings? No, no, don't copy me, copy someone who's worth copying - someone with visible talent and insight and imagination. My own talents consist of getting by, keeping out of trouble and feathering my own nest. Hardly a valuable gift to humanity.
If I draw attention at all, it's probably for all the wrong reasons. I've just knocked over a bottle of wine or said something stunningly rude or a chair has collapsed under me. It's highly unlikely I've drawn attention for my dazzlingly perceptive take on South American literary trends or melting Arctic glaciers. My opinions are about as significant as bus-shelter graffiti.
I don't mind if I drop dead having been of no importance to anyone except my small circle of loved ones. The obituary columns will just have to do without me.