“Comparison is the Thief of Joy”

“Comparison is the thief of Joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

In life, it is difficult to not compare ourselves to people around us. We compare ourselves to our friends, our co-workers, our family members, and even people in the media. Even if we choose not to compare ourselves to others, there will always be people who will do that for us, and remind us of that. It is a vicious cycle.

“Comparison is the thief of joy,” and recently I have seen this statement evolve in my life. I am just like everyone else. I most commonly compare myself to my classmates and peers. It has left me feeling dejected about myself and my life. I see my friends doing amazing things, excelling academically, opening up their own businesses, and even starting up their home. And perhaps the most artificial comparison, I even compare our looks.

Sometimes, I feel like a working class girl, playing a middle class game.

However, I realised that I was not being fair to them or myself. Of course, I was extremely happy for them, because they worked hard to get to where they are. Yet, I also need to remind myself that if I was in their position and had their opportunities, I would probably do just as well as them, whatever “well” means, not trying to claim that their efforts are simply a result of their socioeconomic class. Nonetheless, we are different people, and my differences has led me to where they are, despite not having the same start in life and opportunities that my friends had. I should remind myself that I am just as good as them, no better, no worse. I should be happy for them, as well as myself.

Instead of comparing ourselves, we should be praising our efforts, for our situation is unique to us. In addition, we need to empower one another, and support each other in our endeavours. This life is too short to be envious over other people. We need to remember that we are all at different stages of our lives, and we all have different backgrounds and opportunities. Otherwise, we will never know joy if we are constantly focusing on how other people are doing, and ignoring our own lives.

There is no love in jealousy, only bitterness.

Love your neighbours, and love yourself.


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