What You Think They See?

The ego, practically speaking, is all about how we think others see us. There is a deep inner need to be perceived in the best possible light. Many people spend a great deal of time, energy and even money trying to be the person they think others will approve of.

Homecoming weekend at my alma mater happened to coincide with an appointment I had in the area, so I decided to leave early and take in some of the events at the university. I had to drive a long distance, so I chose not to wear my suit on the way so that I would look good for my fellow alums. Once I was in the parking lot, I decided I could discreetly change in my car. When I had finished the tricky exercise, I headed over to the auditorium.

As I walked down the sidewalk, I passed a group of college girls who seemed overcome with giggling. I tried hard to fight that old, familiar self-conscious sensation I had struggled with during my college years. I told myself that I looked good in my suit as I entered the back of the auditorium and leaned against the wall.

After a few moments, I glanced down. To my horror, not only had I not quite finished the dressing process, but the corner of my shirt was protruding from my suit pants. After a few moments of overwhelming embarrassment, I started laughing and could hardly stop. Trying to be what I thought others would approve of turned out to be quite futile. I realized that—first and foremost—I needed to approve of myself.

by Chaplain Ron Hyrchuk

July 19, 2007