mercredi 25 février 2015

Compared to what?

You know that saying 'comparison is the thief of joy'?  I think it might be a quote by a dead American president or something, but I'm not sure which one.

Anyway.  I pull that one out all the time.  I'm always quoting it at friends, probably annoyingly.

It's something I like to think I'm pretty good at.  I'm not a jealous person.  In fact, people who know me would probably say I am remarkably not jealous (i.e. to the point of weirdness).  I don't begrudge people things.  Not to say this is because I'm, like, *such* a nice person or anything.  Mostly because it wouldn't occur to me.  Besides, seeing other people do and get good things is inspiring in the best possible way.

Again - anyway.  I was thinking about that quote tonight, and it occurred to me (I'm a bit slow) that I might have got it wrong.

'Comparison' doesn't necessarily, as I assumed, mean comparing yourself to other people - worrying about what other people have, or what they are better at than you, and feeling rubbish by comparison.

There are so many other kinds of comparisons than that.  Comparisons can be with yourself, rather than with other people - they can even be the comparison between real life and total fantasy.  Comparing life now to life when you were younger, happier...  Comparing your situation now to the past, when things seemed so much easier, even though they had to change and there was really no way around it.  Constantly wondering what your life might be now if only you had done things differently, worked harder, been better...  'If only' is definitely a comparison.  So, yes - it is probably also a thief of joy.

That's the bit I'm working on.

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