Tim Keller on the Dangers of "Self-Esteem Résumés"
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Editor's Note: This illustration could easily be adapted based on details from your own life.
When I was at school, my mother kept saying things like, "You know, honey, you ought to join the chess club." I would say, "Mom, I hate chess." "Yes, I know," she would say, "but it will look so good on your college application." She would try again. "Don't they feed the homeless and hungry downtown, every Saturday morning? Why don't you volunteer for that?" "Mom," I'd say, "I hate that kind of thing." I would get the same response, "I know, honey, but it will look so good on your college application." So, at school, I did all kinds of things that I had absolutely no interest in doing for themselves. I was simply putting together a résumé.
That is what our egos are doing all the time. Doing jobs we have no pleasure in, doing diets we take no pleasure in. Doing all kinds of things, not for the pleasure of doing them, but because we are trying to put together an impressive curriculum vitae. By comparing ourselves to other people and trying to make ourselves look better than others, we are …. trying to create a self-esteem résumé because we are desperate to fill our sense of inadequacy and emptiness. The ego is busy. So busy all the time.