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Richard Burton: Is There Any Way Around Ego?

Ann: Is there any way around ego? As soon as I start getting something right, here it comes.

Richard: Are you asking me?

Ann: Absolutely.

Richard. Excellent choice, you have come to the right place. I led with my ego, carried it around on my back, and made sure I had a To-Go bag at the ready at all times. A human being cannot lose the ego, it always finds its way home.

And truth to tell, you would not want to be without it because you would be a slimy puddle of pond scum with no form whatsoever subject the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune – not mention every importunate bastard who needs a punching bag in one form or another.

But I know what you mean. Can you ever find a happy medium?

In my experience, not really, because we always expand with a pat on the back. But what you can do is find a happy medium range, and when you start heading past the goal posts, take time for a little target practice. Pull out your little slingshot and have at it.

The most effective ammunition – which also has the collateral benefit of entertainment – is to make fun of the little bastard. Not in a mean way, of course, because that would not be PC, but just an elbow dig in the ribs, a “there you go again, remember the last time,” etc.

And never forget that time is the great leveler because, if someone puffs you up one day, someone else will blow you down the next.

What you’re aiming for – not that I achieved it – is a little distance where you can watch the ups and down with, if not a jaundiced eye, at least a little humor at the antics of the human race, which, try as we might, we can none of us escape while we are on this planet.

The Bard had it right:

That rounds the mortal temples of a king

Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,

Allowing him a breath, a little scene

To monarchize, be feared, and kill with looks,

Infusing him with self and vain conceit,

As if this flesh which walls about our life

Were brass impregnable. And humored thus,

Comes at the last, and with a little pin

Bores through his castle walls, and farewell king."*

Ann: So you did learn it

Richard: Yes, in some ways, I had it beaten out of me by my own foibles. In others I still a cock crowing on his little dunghill. And doesn’t that make us all comrades in arms?

Ann: Yes, it does. Goodnight, Comrade.

Richard: Goodnight, Madame.

January 2, 2021

*Richard II, Act 3 Scene 2, by William Shakespeare, read by Richard Burton at

All blog entries are works of the imagination and are for spiritual and entertainment purposes only.

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