Friday, November 18, 2005

Let me ask you this

Are you more likely to compare yourself to those who "have" more than you or to those who "have" less?

Even though one comparison has the effect of making one feel dissatisfied, I would wager that we choose this comparison far more than the other.

When you compare your situation to those who "have" less, naturally one feels grateful, blessed, lucky, and content. (And as a bonus, a little thing called compassion starts growing inside.)

So clearly, there is a superior choice here.

Why, as human beings, do we choose the comparison that provokes ill-feelings?

Instinct?

9 comments:

St. Dickeybird said...

I don't really compare myself to anyone.
I've never seen the point.

r said...

I think we all compare ourselves to whatever's out there, whether it be our friends, our acquaintances, movie stars, even characters from stories.

We figure out who we are partially by paying attention to what or who we think others are.

We like this quality, don't like that quality, etc.

I don't think about wealth as much as I think about ethics and morals and personality. Why is this person this way? How did that person get ahead acting that way? Is that an attractive way to be?

And why does that one guy refuse to follow the rules and have to push ahead when the freeway lanes merge from three to two?

Anonymous said...

Why? Hmmm... what about the crushing weight of the dangling goodies held in front of our noses in commercials, movies, news reports... what about the unspoken but ever pressent message that to be poor is to be without options (as well as fast cars, the latest styles and swiftly obsolete electronic toys) and we must strive against that horrible fate?

We are the vast body of consumerism, and we must be tempted or the entire economic machine will falter.

Don't believe me? Replay in your mind the voice of George W. Bush entreating the American people to shop and dine out after the planes hit the towers.

dantallion said...

Funny - I usually compare myself to have-nots when it comes to material things - which obviously has the effect that you decribe.

But I'm mildly ashamed to admit that, from time to time, I will compare myself to the Have's when it comes to more emotional things. Of course that inevitable results in me feeling like crap about certain things.

Scott & Julia said...

Sigh, I know what you mean. Unfortunately I compare myself to those who have more than I do, instead of just being grateful for what I already have. And I love the pics you posted below! Happy belated HNT!

Anonymous said...

When I'm feeling blue, I just challenge the nearest guy to a dick-measuring contest.

Anonymous said...

I don't compare myself to anyone else but me. Saves a lot of time and frustration.

tornwordo said...

I have to say that those of you who say you don't compare yourself to others.

Bullshit!

I'll be happy to direct you to particular blog posts of your own to prove my point.

Snooze said...

Very powerful post. I think I fall in line with Dantallion - look to the have-nots for the material, and the haves [at times] for the emotional. I work for a non-profit and I get so frustrated with our constant emphasis on 'stuff'. But then again, I come from a family that is very comfortable financially, so perhaps I just don't know what it means to truly be struggling financially.