Egotism and love

A quote worth pondering, from Alain de Botton's excellent Book of Life:

We may think of egoists as people who have grown sick from too much love. But the opposite is rather the case; an egoist is someone who has not yet had their fill. Self-centeredness has to have a clean run in the early years, if it isn’t to haunt and ruin the later ones. The so-called narcissist is simply a benighted soul who has not had a chance to be inordinately and unreasonably admired at the start.

It's hard not to be judgmental when confronted with egotists and narcissists. These people are annoying, to put it gently. But the truth is, they're also hurting. And if we could find it within ourselves to be understanding and gentle with them, we might have a chance of bringing them around. Even if we fail, our efforts help make us a better person, even if only for a short while.

I can't say I speak from experience. I'm usually way too impatient and judgmental to spend time and effort trying to be loving and gentle with people I find annoying. I know in theory that it would make me better if I tried, so maybe I should give it a shot.

Double rainbow over lake

Little boat in the mist