The English Teacher asks the class could anyone spell ‘Alter Ego?’ Little Johnny aged 7 and ¾ pushes his hand into the air calling ‘Miss,Miss,Miss’.

‘Very good, Johnny’ replied the English Teacher ‘Have a go’.

Johnny starts ‘A’.

Teacher encouragingly says ‘Very good and the rest’

Johnny continues ‘ARROGANCE’.

Teacher is very annoyed and says to Johnny ‘That is completely wrong, what made you think you could spell it?’

Johnny replies ‘Well, my daddy said that’s how it should be spelled, Miss’

So, is Johnny’s dad wrong? Of course the spelling is incorrect but is the Alto Ego also an opportunity for arrogance to be inflicted on the audience. So how does arrogance flourish? Generally, it requires a person to consider him or her to think that they are better than everyone else. They also consider the person or persons they are talking to, to be there only for their satisfaction and gratification, hanging onto their every word and expression.

The truth however is that the poor audience are wishing to scream out and say ‘Shut up’  but are either too mannerly or quite in nature to act, so they must continue to express how they feel, within the safety of their own minds.

I often wondered what became of those magic mirrors on the promenade at your favourite seaside resort; particularly the ones that made you look good. I think I know now where they are; displayed inside the front door of the house where the Alto Ego lives and as they leave, they can admire themselves smiling and pointing into the mirror, saying: ‘Hey, you’re looking good’.

Everyone has an ego, it is part of whom we are, however when that ego decides that others should revere it, then it has gone a step too far. Infallibility belongs to the Pope, they say, but I doubt if even he would test that. However the Alto Ego believes that they are of a higher being and have a divine right to say or do whatever they wish.

Remember that the Alto Ego can only flourish where it is perceived by those around it to be stronger than they are.

George Orwell was almost right when penning that famous phrase in animal farm, however it should have read:

‘We are all equal but some of us think we are more equal than others’

Tom Cullen© 29th November 2011

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