OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Ego vs. Empathy

Ego vs. Empathy

“Between beauty & beast I walk the line…” – Jay-Z

The line I’m currently walking is that of ego/empathy. Here’s the thing, I’m not perfect, and I don’t claim or aspire to be either; my ego told me to tell you that. However, this doesn’t excuse me for things I’ve done and/or said because accountability is a very real thing; my empathy told me to admit that.

I’m not the same person I used to be 5 years ago, I’m not the same person I was 2 years ago or even the same person I was last year and I make it a point to tell people this in a less than flattering way; that’s my ego. If I cautioned on the side of empathy I’d understand that the same room that I took to change & grow needs to be “given” so others can understand that I’m still changing, and growing.

My ego keeps telling me to say, “fuck you” to people who don’t understand or see my growth, and mentally I have but that’s not growth. I’m laughing as I type this because what I need to understand is that I’m on nobody else’s timetable to fully grow because I should never ever stop growing. I believe in tests, and for me or anyone to go to the next level in life, tests are mandatory. These tests come in the form of shit you’ve seen, heard, and done before; déjà vu if you will. So what will happen is you’ll be tested to see if you react the same way to similar situations you’ve experienced before in order to tell if you are truly ready for the next version of yourself. Where you go from being annoyed, and saying, “fuck you” to understanding someone’s point of view, and expressing that. It’s going to be uncomfortable, and you’re going to feel like you’re eating a lot of shit but it’s going to taste different because you’re seasoned with empathy.

You ever change your clothes in front of people? Some will ask you to leave the room to do that, others will stare at you, and make a smart-ass or creepy remark, and others will continue doing what they’re doing and/or carrying on the conversation/interaction y’all was having because they understand that for whatever reason you needed to change. It’s uncomfortable to change but you grow to love it.

When women are speaking about ANYTHING, my ego would tell me to tell them, "y’all do that shit too” instead of listening, and learning or just simply minding my fucking business; that’s ego. A lot of us talk about, “if it don’t apply, let it fly” but somehow find ourselves latching on to wings, and dragging the “it” down to our egotistical level. Women say, “men ain’t shit” I don’t feel as if this applies to me; so guess what I do? Let it fly because empathy has taught me that I am not the totality of their experience. Ego used to tell me to get involved & say, “NOT ALL OF US!” My ego still exists, and I need it sometimes; like with my creative endeavors but being that I do consider myself a creative artist, I tend to be sensitive about my shit; that is ego. If someone without me asking tells me their opinion or tries to criticize, constructively or otherwise, I tend not to listen because ego. I had to be ready to let go of ego on my own time, and nobody else’s clock; that’s their ego telling them that I should change according to them or somehow they’re my moral compasses. My ego just wrote that sentence, and it was necessary because sometimes I project in the same way I despise people projecting on me. I take pride in being this older person that younger people come to for advice, and such because I have the scars to prove it, but there’s times where I go away from speaking, and start projecting a message to them because I’m talking to my younger self. That doesn’t work because it damn sure never worked on me, and knowing this I need to become the type of person I never had in my life growing up. Please understand I was, and am very loved by my family but what I’m saying is that I always wanted someone to talk to me, and not at me. Someone to speak my lingo, and understand that just because I’m young it doesn’t mean I have nothing important to say and/or do. For whatever reason, Black boys have to be perfect out the gate without any room to change, grow, and become. Yet, my 33-year old ass is still becoming, so who am I to project and talk at younger people?

Becoming the type of person I wish I always had in my corner is one of my many purposes in life, and this was never a goal of mine but goals are fucking egotistical (not a bad thing) and when I started to realize that my purposes are bigger than my dreams I gained the proper perspective, and put ego the fuck out my soul; for the most part. Just because something doesn’t affect me, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter to others; the world is bigger than my narrow view of it. Once I started to let go of my ego, and what I thought I should be? I started making room for growing exactly where I am so I could be fully prepared when I get there.

“We gonna take it there…I promise this.” 

Photo Series: 92 Bricks - 52nd Brick

Photo Series: 92 Bricks - 52nd Brick

Fiction Series: Shh... - Series Finale

Fiction Series: Shh... - Series Finale