There are plenty good things that come from a healthy ego. From a long term perspective, nothing is healthy about ego.
I would like you to back up that claim please. Show me evidence that all levels of ego are unhealthy in the long term.
I think you've inadvertently fallen for religious propaganda that vilifies ego and automatically equates the concept with excessive pride. We both know religion prefers sheep.
Meanwhile I will back up my claim that healthy ego produces good.
I think we already agree that a big ego is bad - no need to go there right now.
Without a healthy mature ego, how would a good person find the confidence to volunteer for a leadership role or take charge when nobody else will?
How would we find the audacity to ask a relative stranger out on a date – but then restrain our instinctual desires to just jump on them for sexual gratification at first opportunity?
What makes us bold enough to state our case when we think somebody else is wrong?
What gives us the chutzpah to ask the boss for a raise?
There is plenty of evidence that low ego strength is bad or leads to dysfunctional outcomes:
Here's a finding that low ego people don't cope well with the challenge of cancer - perhaps they believe they are not worthy.
Results showed that psychosocial adaptation to cancer was related to a patient's ego strength. Es correlated positively with a patient's use of effective coping strategies.http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/content/40/8/585.short
Here, low ego is implicated as part of the mix in pathological gambling:
Compared to the standardization group norms on these instruments, pathological gamblers are significantly deficient in both ego strength and one type of achievement motivation, Ac. Clinical impressions of gamblers in treatment suggest that narcissistic characteristics are a major problem in treatment and that future research should attempt further detailed studies of ego structure in order to refine treatment objectives.http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01019626
Here, low ego people have incorrect perceptions of themselves - correlated with eating disorder.
A group of 15 female anorexic patients had a significantly lowered mean Es when compared with a normal control group. The patients' overestimation of body width at shoulders, waist and hips was significantly different from the normal group;http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0022399978900247
Here, a vulnerable ego is a factor in suicide risk:
The ego with its enormous complexity (Murray, 1938) is an essential factor in the suicidal scenario. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines ego as "the part of the mind that reacts to reality and has a sense of individuality." Ego strength is a protective factor against suicide. Suicidal people frequently exhibit a relative weakness in their capacity to develop constructive tendencies and have likely been weakened by a steady toll of traumatic life events (e.g., loss, abuse) (Zilboorg, 1936). A vulnerable ego, thus, correlates positively with suicide risk. http://www.suicidefindinghope.com/content/suicide_notes
So excessive ego and low ego both have their problems. I put it to you (and you said that we all have ego) that in the middle ground ego can be healthy and mature, facilitating the best functioning of individuals within a society. The healthy level isn't an ego squashed and suppressed because it's been culturally or religiously painted as the font of evil. IMHO we are better off trying to understand ego and ways of ensuring it is healthy.
Here is at least one balanced way of understanding and managing our ego – it is the concept of self-compassion:
Research is presented which shows that self-compassion provides greater emotional resilience and stability than self-esteem, but involves less self-evaluation, ego-defensiveness, and self-enhancement than self-esteem. Whereas self-esteem entails evaluating oneself positively and often involves the need to be special and above average, self-compassion does not entail self-evaluation or comparisons with others. Rather, it is a kind, connected, and clear-sighted way of relating to ourselves even in instances of failure, perceived inadequacy, and imperfection. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2010.00330.x/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false
I think that making an effort to know our own egos and how to love ourselves comes with a bonus – a useful social tool i.e. self-awareness that gives us a basis for reciprocity and a skill at dealing with other people’s egos.
Good people managers are extremely good at nurturing the egos of subordinates. By contrast I also refer you to famous work on “ego-depletion”:
The scientists individually told each member of another group of randomly selected people, “I hate to tell you this, but no one chose you as someone they wanted to work with.” Believing absolutely no one wanted to hang out with them, people in this group then learned they would have to work by themselves. Punched in the soul, their self-esteem dripping with inky sludge, the people in the unwanted group proceeded to the main task. .... <snip>..... The subjects learned they could eat as many as they wanted while filling out a form commonly used in corporate taste tests. .... <snip>..... They predicted the rejects would gorge themselves, and so they did. On average the rejects ate twice as many cookies as the popular people.http://youarenotsosmart.com/2012/04/17/ego-depletion/
Plenty published research on the negative impacts of ego-depletion:
Results revealed a significant effect of ego depletion on self-control task performance. Significant effect sizes were found for ego depletion on effort, perceived difficulty, negative affect, subjective fatigue, and blood glucose levels.http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/136/4/495/
If ego is evil, why would depleting it produce mediocrity and low energy levels?
Finally I’d like to refer you to a book by a fine Australian researcher, Hugh Mackay: “What Makes Us Tick?”. Mackay identifies the common desire underlying much of our behaviour: “This is the desire to be taken seriously.”
I can’t see that desire coming from or feeding back into anything but the ego. I see it as a force for good – a key driver of creativity and of expression. And knowing that also strikes me as handy for getting the best out of relationships with others.