Ego Awareness: A weapon against tribalism in Nigeria [Editor's Opinion]
This newfound awareness empowers us to build a more cohesive and peaceful society, transcending the limitations imposed by our egos.
At the heart of our existence, we are just interconnected organisms sharing this world with other beings, constantly shaped by our environment. On a deeper level, our biological and psychological drives lead us to seek fulfillment in various forms, underscoring the importance of self-awareness.
Self-awareness involves exploring our emotions, thoughts, strengths, weaknesses, and values, enabling us to make conscious decisions, navigate emotions, and cultivate healthier relationships. This realisation reminds us that our egos alone do not define us, and focusing solely on identity rather than human fulfillment limits our potential.
Crafting Identities: Ego's role in self-definition
Ego refers to the individualistic aspect of our identity, encompassing our beliefs, preferences, experiences, and self-perception. It comprises everything we consider to be true about ourselves, from our names to our interests and fashion choices. Ego is essentially the lens through which we view and define ourselves.
On the other hand, our tribal identities represent a sense of belonging and shared history with others who share similar traditions, values, and customs. Tribal identity often influences our perspectives, behaviors, and affiliations, as we feel a connection and loyalty towards our respective tribes; an ego.
Establishing this, 'egos' are not a negative concept; however, usage of one's ego becomes where ethics and morality is weighed.
Tribalism's Stranglehold: Ego in Nigerian society
With over 250 distinct ethnic groups, tribalism seeps into various aspects of Nigerian society, including politics and social relationships.
Tribalism was politically exploited in the 2023 general elections, as politicians used ethnicity as a divisive tool, prioritising narrow interests over national progress. One of many instances was seen in Lagos as a governorship candidate reinforced messages of tribal ego ; pitching one ego over the other. A candidate who was positioned as progressive, modern, municipal, quickly tasted as sour as the oldies for me.
While his message is understood, the lack of emotional intelligence surrounding the mode of communication fails to position this candidate as someone who understands depth of ego illiteracy; hence does not even understand the nature of the problem to be fixed.
Uniting a nation is KEY to development, and tribalism stifles our agenda towards a more fulfilled society, a more fulfilled life.
Breaking the Chains: Ego awareness for a harmonious society
While our egos play a role in shaping our identities, they often foster division and conflict. Our attachment to these constructs blinds us from seeing beyond our individual perspectives, perpetuating animosity and a lack of understanding.
Enter ego awareness—a transformative concept. By recognising how our egos shape our perceptions and attitudes towards others, we can dismantle the barriers that divide us. This newfound awareness empowers us to build a more cohesive and peaceful society, transcending the limitations imposed by our egos.
In the grand tapestry of human existence, the ego may be a brushstroke that adds colour and definition to our identities. However, it is essential to remember that we are more than the sum of our individual parts. By acknowledging this truth and cultivating ego awareness, we can strive towards unity and embrace the diversity that enriches our shared human experience.
*Pulse Editor's Opinion is the viewpoint of an editor at Pulse. It does not represent the opinion of the organisation Pulse.
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