Friday, April 8, 2011


 Comparison, why do we do that to ourselves? Making comparisons between yourself and others is unfair. It is unfair to yourself and to the other individual.
  Why do we all try to compare ourselves to others? If you think you will fair better than the person you're comparing yourself to, then perhaps you are looking to boost your ego, make yourself feel better about yourself. Is that fair to the other person? Do you know what background and hardships they may have faced to arrive at where they are?
  Like everyone, I find myself making comparisons all the time. In an ideal world we, the population, would know that comparing ourself to others is a form of judgment. We all know that judging another based soley on our limited knowledge of that person is unfair and wrong. Instead of making comparisons between ourselves and others, maybe we should be focussing on the uniqueness of ourselves and the uniqueness of others.
  I'm smarter than they are, I'm prettier than she is, I'm stronger than he is, I've accomplished more than they have, and on and on it goes. The converse of that can also be problematic. I wish I were that strong, I wish I were that pretty,  I wish I had accomplished as much as they have and so forth. These frames of mind carried to the extreme can lead to envy.
  All we can do for ourselves is always try to do our best, given our limited resources. Strive to be the best that you can be, given your unique circumstances.
  I am by no means an authority on this subject, this is just an observence, that was pointed out to me by my best friend. He thought I should touch upon this subject in my blog, obviously I agree. As I thought about what to write, I realized just how often I make comparisons, myself to others and others to myself. It would be advantageous to all if we stopped and realized what a disservice we are doing to ourselves and others.
  Whenever we start down the road to comparison, we should stop, realize what we are doing and change the way we look at ourselves and others. Everyone is different, that is what being an individual actually means.
  Instead of looking at another with envy, I try to look at them with admiration. Look how hard they have worked to become so strong, if being strong is important to you. How do I become stronger? Look how intelligent they are, perhaps if I read more, spend time and energy educating myself I can become more knowledgeable also.
  Comparing apples to oranges, excuse my being trite, is obviously a fruitless endevour (excuse the pun). If  I were to compare what a person who has two natural  God given legs to myself, a person who has lost both of their legs, how would I compare? I wouldn't. It is rediculous to even make such a comparsion. Instead, I look to those who are in my similar situation, and with admiration of their accomplishments, strive to do better for myself. How did they get to where they are? How can I improve myself?
  Further, it is also not a good idea to compare yourself now with how you used to be. Circumstances change. Learning how to deal with change is one of life's challenges. Certainly things  have dramatically changed for me in last few years. Looking back on how I used to be, what I used to be able to do and comparing it to my circumstances now is being unfair to myself. Instead I try to be the best I can be NOW.
  A very spiritual person whose opinion I value greatly, wrote to me in one of her emails, "out of great loss come great blessings."  I like that statement and I feel it is true.
  Dr. Wayne Dyer, author and life coach, says, "when we change the way we look at things, things we look  at change." To me that has been a profound and true proclamation.
  We should acknowledge accomplishment for what it is. Doing the best that we can do, not comparing ourselves, then and now, but rather we should look at others with respect, admiration and love. It will be of great benefit to us and others.
 I wonder if someone else could have written this more eloquently? Oops, is that a comparison?


  1. I couldn' t have said it better. Thanks for taking my suggestion!

  2. You're so right, Glenn: comparing yourself to others IS fruitless. As you said, in one of our recent phone conversations, "So some people your age are farther along in life than you... all that means is they've had advantages in life that you haven't had, or they've been luckier, or they haven't had to overcome the same obstacles that you've had to..."

    I think, deep down, I sort of already knew that, but it really helped to hear you say that, to reinforce it for me.

    I do have a bad habit of comparing myself unfavorably to others, but, strangely enough, I usually stop just short of envy. Somehow or another I learned, early on, that envy is not only destructive but it's almost always delusional.

    A number of years ago, I became acquainted with someone, a friend of a friend, who seemed to have it all. This person was happily married, he had a good job, plenty of money; he & his wife had just purchased a beautiful home & they were expecting their first child. I mean, who wouldn't envy this dude? This guy had it going on--or, so it seemed.

    That's the key word: seemed. Well, about a year later, when I learned more about the guy, my envy went bye-bye. Turns out this man was also a crack addict. And, one night, high on crack, he went for a drive. He sideswiped another car, killing the driver. Now, this "lucky" man, this man who once "had it all" is in prison for manslaughter.

    That's just one example of the delusional aspect of envy. So, whenever I feel a twinge of envy towards someone, I try to learn more about the person. And I've found, time & again, when I do learn more, that that envy evaporates. Most of us do a good job of putting our best face forward. We're taught by society to display only our "good" qualities. And, the older we get, the more skillful we become at camouflaging the less desirable ones.

    Just look beneath the surface & you'll find that no one has it all. We all have demons or deficiencies. Some problems are more obvious than others. But, from what I've seen, fate deals everyone at least one "bad" card.


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