People like to talk about what they’re going to give up for Lent. Some give up a certain food. Or TV. Or the mall.
I’d like to give up my ego.
My ego is what lends heavy importance to all of these things. I wouldn’t be tempted to buy things like new shoes if I took my ego out of the equation. Let’s take a look:
I want to buy new shoes.
Who wants to buy new shoes? “I.” Now take the “I” out of that sentence.
Want to buy new shoes.
Who is this enigmatic person or thing who wants to buy new shoes? We don’t know. It’s a mystery. But surely this person or thing has an understanding of new shoes without dualism, without need for a subject for this sentence. This person or thing might have some answers to life’s questions. In fact, it feels like a question. Maybe that’s it:
Who wants to buy new shoes?
I do, I do!
See, that’s my problem. That “I” likes to jump in there, even though I know I don’t need new shoes, even though I defy grammar in plenty of other ways. That’s why we give up chocolate, or double mocha frappuchinos, or new shoes for 40 days. It’s tangible. It’s a deadline. It’s something “I” can do.