We as humans have always faltered because of our greed that arises from the simplest of human trait – ‘COMPARISON’. For us the grass will always be greener on the other side of the fence and this brings nothing but grief. We always tend to focus and compare ourselves to another person rather than focusing on who we are and what we can do? By comparing we have brought on us more of grief and less of understanding things as they are.
Fishes don’t compare their swimming skills, Butterflies never compare their colors, Trees never compare their fruit bearing ability, but we will always compare ourselves to one another and wouldn’t even hesitate before comparing ourselves to carefree birds flying in the sky. I am sure that the birds wouldn’t be comparing itself to humans.
Comparison is drilled into our mind right from our childhood and as a child we have been told innumerable times as that we have to follow in the footsteps of our parents or an elder sibling etc. There is nothing wrong in having a role model in life and having their principles as milestones of our life, but the comparison shouldn’t not become the focal point of grief in our life.
In an attempt to follow in the footsteps of others, we should not lose sight of our originality. It is quite possible that your originality is quite different than the person you are comparing yourself to. God’s creation of this universe itself proves that life is full of diversity and perhaps that is the reason God has made each of us different and unique in our own way. Even then we go ahead and compare our self with others.
School of Economics, Paris conducted a study that spread over 24 countries and included 19,000 people and came out with a conclusion that more than 75% of people were unhappy with their own salaries in comparison to the other. Point to note is that all the people who were selected for this study were all highly paid individuals, but they had made an habit of comparing their salary to others and this criteria was directly proportionate to their happiness/sadness quotient. They had simply assumed that the higher salaried person was more smarter, capable and happier than them, but we all know that it is not always true.
Very few people feel satisfied with what they have and are happy and contended with it. If a child gets less marks than their fellow student, this will become a major cause of worry for parents. The comparison of your own child will breed self low esteem in the child and will do him more harm in the future than good.
I would like to narrate an instance about a king and his minister here – One day the king along with his trusted minister decided to peregrinate around the kingdom. They reached a farm on the outskirts of the kingdom, where a farmer along with his wife and two children were having supper. On seeing the king, the farmer welcomed him. The king sarcastically asked the farmer whether he was happy or not? The farmer replied that he was very happy and contended that he had a small farm which gave him good food and next to the farm was a river which gave him enough water and the farmer also emphasized that he had all the support of his loving wife and two understanding children.
On the way back, the minister saw the king sad and worried. On asking, the king said that even though he had lots of wealth as compared to the farmer, the farmer looked far happier than he was. The minister simple reverted that the reason the farmer was happier because he never compared himself with the king, where as the king always compared himself to other wealthier kings and was always trying to emulate them.
In all of us there is this king type personality. Some would feel proud of themselves when they compare themselves with someone lesser and would scorn them as inferior and then at the same time are grief stricken when they compare themselves to some one who is more successful. Either way there is no peace of mind.
Comparison has never brought anyone happiness. Every human in today’s world strive to be rich rather than be a good human being. It is worth remembering that if you are satisfied what you have then no one can hurt you. Money is important for survival, but not a necessity to live a good life. In order to live a good life one needs love, emotions, relations…
Comparison can deflate you, but satisfaction can elate you…
Note:- I had received an e-mail that contained a similar post but in Gujarati. I don’t mean to plagiarize any one’s work but as don’t know the original author I can’t give him or her credit.