The ego is like a child . As we grow, mature, we are given the opportunity to nurture our ego and heal it. It does not always happen. Sometimes we carry the ego as a disease.
Perhaps a better way to consider the ego is as a garden. As we grow, mature, we come to see that we can choose what does or does not grow there. We can shape the garden to appear or look a certain way. This is the purpose of the ego and it is a good purpose. Too often the ego shapes us and we consider it poorly, even if in our mind we think we hold it in good regard.
It is intended that we hold our ego in good regard and take care to present it in the best way. It is not to be maligned but to be nurtured and cared for. In the same way we would nurture and care for others. When we take proper care of our ego it is as a gift to our community and our self.
I first posted this as a reply to a blog post on Learning Tree.