Ego can Destroy whole Families – Comparing India and West – 25 Apr 09

Ego

Many times I have written about the strong family relations which I love in Indian culture. Sometimes I felt that some people do not give value to relationships and do not see how much they can hurt emotions by disrespecting or just not valuing relationships. Travelling in the western world I have often seen that the own ego can become bigger than any family relation, love relation or friendship. They cannot nourish the relationship and as a result we see that something breaks or that there is a lot of poison and bitterness in relations.

Mostly the problem arises when we blame somebody for something. We forget that if the same thing will happen to us, what would be our own reaction? People do not see themselves when they blame someone else. The main reason is again ego. Interesting is that they see clearly how all problems arose because of ego and they blame another person for their ego but unfortunately they do not see their own ego. Otherwise there might not be any problem at all.

Sometimes this ego can make you blind so that you are not able to see the truth which will affect your decisions. Which decision should you take? You don’t know what is right and wrong. The big problem is that in a result this can hurt many people. Many times destructive emotions and feelings arise because of ego. Then all energy is spent in destroying, creating problems and separation. I think this is the reason why family relations and love is not that strong in the western culture.

Why are family relations strong in Indian culture? The main reason is unavailability of ego. Not any family can be joined if every member of the family kept the ego high. This is the key for the success of joint families. People are there for each other and of course trust is an important factor. If ego comes and there is not trust, then this western disease will come into the Indian culture, too, which is already happening in big cities. I am very proud of my family and our family relations where nobody is keeping their ego among each other. We have a wonderful relation, love and trust.

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  1. Nathan

    I am from the US and I cannot say that I know a single family who’s ego hasn’t kept them from loving each other or happiness. In the US we say “you have family problems? everyone has a messed up family.” We get away from our families as soon as possible. I know not all US families are like that, but many are and certainly mine is. As i learn more about ego and becoming aware of it I think about what it would be like to go back to my family now…

  2. Ang

    In many situations it seems easier to recognize the ego in another than recognize it in yourself. To be able to recognize it in another can be very helpful if you know that this also exists in you and if you know that any uncompassionate response to this ego in another comes from the ego in you.

  3. Emily

    I have been pondering the point you make about Indian families, Swami. I see that it’s very true– families in India are much closer and more bonded, which makes it almost impossible for everyone’s ego to be powerful in the family.
    Perhaps it is family structure itself that helps to keep the ego in-check. Your family is often where you reveal your ugliest sides; they are the people you can show all emotion, fear, and pain to. In some ways, your family reflects your ego back to you because they know you well and their influence has a deep impact on you.

    In the West, we often run from our families in order to not look at the ego. Staying with our families would require us to look at our egos and work on our behavior, which can be very painful.
    Family is who we grow from the most. They are the collaboration of people who helped bring you into the world- an important source of growth and wisdom.

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