A Thought about Comparison

At work this week, we just happened to get onto the subject of comparison.

I’m sure it’s the same in many workplaces – that you tend to be on similar paths as those you work with. Some may be married or getting married, looking to buy their first home or decorating it, hoping to start a family or pregnant with their first child. You are all thinking and talking about similar plans and ideas. It’s inspiring and comforting. Nice to discuss topics that are on your mind and to take a break from the stresses of work.

It’s also tricky not to get downhearted, or, dare I say, jealous. To wonder and question how someone may be further along in their ‘life plan’ than you. Or is able to completely renovate their new home in just a few short months while you’re scrimping and saving away. How someone younger than you might already be buying their fourth house and married in a fairy-tale ceremony last year.

The truth is, luckily, that I, like many of my friends, feel such gratitude for where I am. Sure, I may compare aspects of my life, but I’m so aware that we never know all there is to know about a person’s life, that I try not to ponder or consider. We never know what somebody has gone through – or is going through. Or that they may in fact be comparing their life to yours. Those with little are often thought to be more grateful for what they have because they appreciate the worth and the cost more – and the little things.

But, as one of my colleagues rightly said, there will always, always, be someone who has a bigger house. More money. Or a successful career. It’s all about how you measure this. What you deem to be important. Sometimes we find ourselves so busy that we forget how lucky we really are, especially when you consider how little others might have. 

We are all on a different path, where different things matter to different people. Don’t spend your life comparing it to others, as you never know, someone may be doing the exact same thing about yours.