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The Big E – Ego Versus Ethos

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180 – September, 2021

By Elaine Lessig

Okay. I admit it. I was doing just a little bit of online shopping. Shocking! Honestly, it was not for anything at all exciting. What I was searching for was a remedy to help me get some relief from the runny nose, post nasal drip, and clogged ears which have plagued me for months. To add further misery, my watery eyes started to fill to the brim sending an endless stream of tears running down my face. Like so many of us in the Northeast, our summer weather has wreaked havoc with my sinuses. I have traded soft tissues for half-size paper towels. Unfortunately, they have become my new best friends. We go everywhere together. Nothing about the current situation is glamorous or pleasant, quite the opposite.

While on the hunt for something, anything, that might offer some relief, I was on a site with several potentially helpful choices. Among the myriad of products were some options from a supplement company, Ethos. There was a natural, multi-symptom eye wash dispensed in single doses which offered the relief I crave. Other products seemed able to assist me with the allergy and sinus issues I needed to ameliorate. With the decision made to buy several of them, I loaded the items into the cart, completed the check-out procedure, and closed my iPad.

As I was blowing my nose again (with my paper towel), my brain suddenly went into warp speed. “Ethos,” I wondered. “Why do I know that word?” Instantly, I looked at my email confirmation of my recent purchase. There was the name. I immediately turned to everyone’s personal assistant, Google. I typed in the search bar, “Ethos,” tapped the definition option, and waited as it loaded. “Ethos”: distinguishing characteristic, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding belief of a person, group, or institution. There it was. “Ethos” was not only the name of a supplement company; it was, more importantly, a philosophical imperative. The antonym offered by Merriam-Webster online dictionary was “Ego,” defined as “self-importance”. Oh, my!

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180 – September, 2021

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