Comparison is the Thief of Joy

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Photo Credit Used under a CC license

Theodore Roosevelt is credited with saying “comparison is the thief of joy“. I think this is true.

Why?

Comparison . . .

  • Fosters unrealistic expectations and perfectionism
  • Fosters competition (the unhealthy kind, not the having-fun-wrestling-on-the-floor-with-a-litter-of-puppies kind)
  • Fosters envy and jealousy **
  • Keeps us small and spiteful

I think the worst thing about comparison is that we– most of us, anyway– are trained to do it to ourselves. No one needs to tell me I suck compared to the writer who lives just up the road from me.*** I am busy telling myself that. *sigh*

** I’m not being redundant here. “Envy” is the emotion we experience when we covet the possessions of another. “Jealousy” is the emotion we experience when we think a relationship we value is threatened. I notice that people tend to use the words interchangeably. IMO, they should not. 😉

*** Steven Galloway, who wrote the beautiful Cellist of Sarajevo and many other things

 

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