Two of the ways that a person becomes most aware of others is by focusing on specific others, individuals and communities. By finding someone with whom one can develop a relationship, even a minor one, the concept of ‘other’ ceases to become abstract and turns into a concrete reality. Even a small connection, such as calling a friend or neighbor while you are at the store and offering to pick them up a dozen eggs, makes your shopping trip a holier experience.
I once pointed out in shul that if a person picks up a small jar of peanut butter for the shul’s shalosh seudos, while at the store anyway, he turns a visit to the grocery store into an opportunity to be עוסק בצרכי צבור באמונה, serve the community’s needs faithfully.
One can contract one’s ego-inflation by inserting service of one other person, or one community, into one’s life habits.