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Ego Management: The story of the green wood man January 1, 2013

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Ego Management.
Tags: , , , , , ,

In some ways, the concept of managing our egos in our personal growth program is often a matter of managing our personality characteristics.

And, personality appearances can be deceptive, particularly when viewing ego management as applied to other people. We can apply labels to the personality traits of people we know or are acquainted with. But, those labels might be wrong, and with that, our judgements about the egos of other people can be wrong.

Take the story of the green wood man, as related to me by a friend of mine.

This was a man who lived in the country, on a small farm near the woods. Every year, he would leave the chore of getting winter firewood for heating his home until the very last minute; until the cold weather and snow had already set in. This meant that my friend was usually hired by the man to go into the woods and fell trees, cut them up, and then split the logs into firewood for the winter weeks and months ahead.

This scenario repeated itself every year. The “problem” with this approach is that wood cut at that time of year will be green, and there will be no time for it to “season” or dry, because the man needed to burn it right away. Green wood is hard to light and keep burning in a fire.

So why did the man wait until only green wood was available?

Here we might assume the role of personal growth or ego management practitioner, be judgemental, and assume that the man was a hopeless procrastinator.

Or perhaps we should conclude that the man had his reasons, and simply preferred burning green wood, rather than seasoned wood, in his woodstove.


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