Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Perils of Comparison

We can't help comparing our lives with those of others. Invariably, such comparisons tend to focus on things that others have but we don't. We never give a thought to the fact that we have a large number of good things in our lives which others don't have. Often these comparisons make our lives miserable.

We all know that there is no logic behind the comparisons since every life is different. You can't even compare your life with that of any other member of your family. All of you may be equal in your financial and social statuses but there will be significant differences in health, personality traits, education, profession, success in career and business, attitude towards life, mental state, happiness level etc.When we are not able to have the same level with our family members in several areas, what is the logic in comparing ourselves with a host of others?

The problem is that though we are aware that comparisons are irrational, we can't help making comparisons. But we should be careful to not allow these comparisons to make us feel bad or unhappy about the things we don't have. One simple way of checking the tendency to compare is to ask yourself whether you, if given a chance,  will be willing to change places with the person you consider to be better off than you in some respects. The answer will almost always be an emphatic NO.

There is a story of people complaining about the burden of responsibility they have been carrying. God made the burden carried by each person into a bundle and gave people the choice to exchange their bundle with others'. Some bundles were large in size and some small, some  heavy and some light. But no one came forward to exchange their bundle with that of any other person. Even people whose bundles were large/heavy were not willing to go for the exchange because they were not sure how the experience of carrying the new bundle will be!

When we make comparisons, things may look greener from a distance. But whatever we have is good for us..

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