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Don’t Go Comparison Shopping

June 19, 2013

How often do you compare your life to others?  This kind of comparison shopping comes in different forms.

In one form, you might look at the lives of others that have more of the things you want and you become envious.  This doesn’t improve your lot, instead it might make you angry.  Angry never leads to improvement.

Another form is to look at those in worse situations than you believe you are in.  How many times, when you are in a period of struggle, do you find yourself thinking “it could be worse”, in order to make yourself feel better?  Or, how many times, when you tell someone else of your struggle or pain, do they tell you that? It is said by them in an effort and an expectation that it will make you feel better.

Does comparison shopping for someone who is in a worse situation really make you feel better? Perhaps it will provide some temporary relief like taking an aspirin, but it doesn’t cure the ailment. Instead, shop for something that will actually make things better.

Comparison shopping for someone seemingly in a worse situation might give temporary relief, but it does nothing to inspire you to do what’s necessary to improve your circumstances. In fact, it may do the opposite and inspire you to just accept your situation, which will make things worse by prolonging it.  Worse, it might just be feeding your ego by finding someone you are better than.  Your lot and that of others is not a competition.  If everything happens for a reason, then a part of the reason for the struggle is to find a way out and learn what you can from that process.  Rather than focusing on another, focus on finding the meaning in your struggle.  It will make you stronger and prepare you for more lessons sure to come your way.  Learning all these lessons and welcoming the challenges will eventually lead you to the  person you are destined to become.

The only value in being aware of others in worse situations is to remind you to kindly and compassionately seek ways you can help them.  When you help, you will feel better.

During the forty years that the Jewish people were trekking through the desert, they had a practice as to how their tents were set up whenever they made camp.  Their tents always faced in a direction that didn’t allow them to see inside other people’s tents.  If they couldn’t see inside other people’s tents there was no comparison shopping.

 “Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.” – Regina Brett

 “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” – Albert Einstein

“The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.” – Mark Twain

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” – Booker T. Washington

Heart and Soul

One Comment leave one →
  1. John B. permalink
    June 19, 2013 7:11 pm

    One of my favorite prayers, “God, help me to want what I have!”

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