Importance of forgoing self-importance

A sea captain and his chief engineer were at odds about whose role was the most important in the ship. As each of them had their own dogged perspectives, they agreed to settle the issue by exchanging their roles for a day. The captain went below deck to run the engine room and the chief engineer climbed to the bridge and grabbed the wheel.


Several hours later the captain appeared on deck, his clothes covered with oil and grease. “Chief,” he yelled up to the bridge as he swung a wrench in hand, “come down here. I cannot make her go!” “I know,” yelled back the chagrined chief engineer, “I’ve run her aground!” It did not take them long to realise that the self-importance they had placed on their positions on board was indeed flawed.

“If you really want peace of mind and success in your endeavour, forgo self-importance,” writes Sharon Lebell in her book, ‘The art of living.’ “Clear thinking and self-importance cannot logically coexist,” she concludes, elucidating on the importance of letting go of the ego in exchange for the grander gifts of continuous learning, acquiring fresh experiences and discovering new perspectives. For, the one who is so full of himself quickly degenerates into a man who will not admit any new knowledge, consider expansive possibilities or entertain fresh ideas. Conversely, when self-conceit is jettisoned it refines the personality making him more adoptive, teachable and eventually successful in life.

Though it is not a well-received fact, the eternal truth about humanity is that, there is no pecking order among us.  Despite outward appearances and social standings in society, everyone is important in this world of ours.

If this point can sink into us and we can take hold of its essence, such vain shortcomings as self-importance and domination will give way to more beneficial strongholds as humility and equality.


The direct offspring of such an outlook is the onset of the twin merits of fairness and tranquility that have gone missing in current times. Looking at the whole world with reverence, relinquishing self-importance and accepting everyone’s contribution to life is the best approach to a life of continuous learning, boundless growing and most of all one that is infinitely rewarding.


Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry