The Leo male is the “King of the Zodiac”. The Leo manages to find himself in the limelight more frequently than not. The way to infuriate the Leo is to snub him. The Leo’s main attribute and also his biggest fault is his egotism.
Although I no longer place much stock in astrology, I must confess that during my 20s, I did. Now, I see my Sun Sign as a cautionary description about one of my main weaknesses. I don’t really know if my personal egotism is a natal trait or if I absorbed it through osmosis by reading too many astrological tracts. Regardless of the how and why of my ego, I’ve often found myself in stereotypical Leo-like situations.
Some personality “experts” claim that egotistical people overuse the first-person singular pronouns, “I” and “me”. The words show up frequently in their speech and writings. This claim leads me to be self-conscious about how many of them appear in what I write. Interestingly, the pronouns appear frequently in the first three paragraphs of this blogpost. In the interest of honesty, I chose not to edit them out.
Many of the world’s problems can be traced to egotism or ego-tripping. This problem of egotism is worth contemplating without having to tap-dance around it because of my own egotistical nature. Such introspection might not only be worthwhile for fellow Leos reading this, but for anyone born under the other eleven Sun Signs. There are aspects of egotism present in all twelve signs–or so I’ve been told.
When discussing egotism, it’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming sanctimonious. I argue that sanctimony is one of the many forms that egotism takes. I’ve become ensnared in the sanctimony trap many times, so it’s easy for me to recognize it. One of the problems with sanctimony, and its close kin, intolerance, is that they are socially acceptable forms of egotism in many circles. The ego trip is hidden. Displays of sanctimony and intolerance permit us to parade our “superiority” and elitism without overt boastfulness. Of course, the targets of a holier-than-thou attitude rightfully see it as braggadocio.
Perhaps the most dangerous forms of egotism can manifest in the minds of world leaders. One need not be a Caligula, Alexander the Great, King Henry VIII, or Mussolini, because narcissism can be fully empowered with high social rank. There are a few such individuals currently in high positions, here and abroad. I need not name names in order to get my point across. In my opinion, their ego trippings have placed the people and the planet in dire circumstances.
In order to become a legislator, senator, president, prime minister, or important public figure, self-focus becomes all-important. By default, a political campaign is a socially acceptable form of narcissism. In its most extreme form, a political campaign consists of overt self-praise, boastfulness, and arrogance. The worst campaigns are exercises in hate-mongering, negativity and scapegoating. The extreme egotists and campaign managers understand human psychology and that fear is the most effective tool of manipulation.
When in positions of power, the most extreme danger of egotism is that it can bloom into full-blown hubris. Students of history know that hubris signals the end of a reign through national crises and disaster.
The point of this little bit of writing is to refresh our awareness of egotism. Each mentally healthy person has some measure of it. So, it’s helpful to contemplate our own egotism from time to time, because a little goes a long way.
The Blue Jay of Happiness ponders the wisdom of this cautionary warning from philosopher George Santayana: “Intolerance is a form of egotism, and to condemn egotism intolerantly is to share it.”