Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

How do you compare?

I was at a local firework display a few years back. It was dark, of course and I could see very little, given my visual impairment. One of my neighbours’ children wanted a burger, so his dad a big, strong six foot+ police officer scooped up his son and purposefully wended his way to the burger stall without missing a beat. I felt phenomenally envious of this guy. I thought “I wish I could do that, rather than being rooted to the spot here, as good as blind and having to rely on others in order to get around in the dark”

 Fast forward to two days ago. I was coming home from walking Murphy, our new puppy. As I turned to come into the house, my six foot police officer neighbour came by hunched over the handlebars of his mobility scooter. Just two weeks after that firework party he was diagnosed with MS. Now he can hardly walk and his eyesight is much diminished.

 What might he have thought as he saw me striding into my house? What comparison might he have drawn? I felt chastened, given my erstwhile envy.

How much of our time is spent comparing ourselves to others? How much energy do we put into trying to be as good as or better than others rather than accepting ourselves for who we are?  It is all too easy to assume that others may have it “better” than ourselves – that the grass is always greener.

 We never really know how things may be for that person who appears to be doing OK. And if they are actually doing OK, the biggest challenge can be to rejoice for them rather than unfavourably compare ourselves against them and feel bitter or resentful.

 Despite this incident, I still find myself comparing myself unfavourably at times against others who may be fitter, younger or more “accomplished”.  It tends to leave  me feeling exhausted and miserable.

 Even if we end up  “well off”  ourselves,  that penchant we have for comparison, is never likely to help us feel genuinely fulfilled. There will always be someone “better off” to measure ourselves against.

 I need to know and accept that I am OK  as I am – period.

 So much of our society is fuelled by this obsession with comparison – it’s what drives consumerism. We need to have the latest gizmos because others have them or to look and dress a certain way, because that’s how successful or beautiful people “should” look. This is probably best summed up by the well known adage:

 “We buy things we don’t really need, with money we don’t really have in order to impress people we don’t really like”.

 Think about it – in a world where every individual is utterly unique, it is futile to even start to compare.

 So, how do you compare? Just like the case of my neighbour, we never really know…..           


3 Responses to “How do you compare?”

  1. Morning Chris

    Good stuff as ever and approriate for everyone of us

    My old granny always used to say –

    “You ar enot the pillow or the bedpost in that house so you do not know what they feel about their lives”

    A strange wayt o express yourself but true enough

    Have a good week

    Love to all
    xxxxxxxx PS
    and not more pond walks I hope!

  2. sorry about typos its not my strong point at this time of day

  3. As ever Chris, you got it right again. Thanks for helping me focus on it being Monday morning again.

    I agree completely; we all spend too much time in comparing ourselves to others which serves no long term benefit.

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