All our joy and sorrow in life is due to comparisons. We tend to look at others to feel happy or sad. Why does this happen ? I do not know but it is most often a reality in our lives. We tend to compare ourselves with our siblings as a kid and then our classmates in school and college. Then may be our colleagues at work.
I used to live in a city, where people bought a car or a house bigger than what their neighbour had rather than what they needed. This was because the societal norms in that city was to live by comparison. Imagine you buying something in life not because you need it but because your neighbour has it.
How docomparisons affect us ? It makes us less tolerant and also tends to create a complex within us. We either think we are superior or inferior to others. This leads to negative behaviour, which in turn impacts our relationships with others.
What do we do ? How can we live without comparing ourselves with others ? Yes it is possible. We could compare ourselves with people having more troubles than we have. We can compare ourselves with people who are less fortunate than us and this will make us grateful to God. We can compare ourselves with people who are better than us in behaviour and relationships and learn from them.
However, in reality we do not do that. We tend to compare with those who have more than us. This leads to jealousy and in turn leads to undesirable behaviour and actions. Thus leading to both physical and psychological illnesses, which definitely can be avoided.
Another positive way to compare is to do it with oneself. How was I when started my career ? How am I today ? How was I when I was a child and how am I today ? All these comparisons will make us feel better and more grateful to life and God.
We can learn from the sportspersons from individual sports. They prefer to compete with themselves than with others. This is healthy and absolute. It energises themto do better and excel every single time without losing any energy. They remain positive in life and are always focussed on what they want to achieve.
As in the photo above, two artisans do not comparetheir pieces (boats) of art, as they create it. Each is a masterpiece in itself. They always try to do better than what they have created previously. This is the lesson we need to learn in life.
Even the most successful people in all walks of life tend to excel by bettering what they have done before. They are not feeling bad of others around them, who have done better than them. They learn from the best but always set high standards for themselves in absolute rather than relative terms.
Let us learn to live life on our own turf from today.
S Ramesh Shankar