The Comparison Game: Is It Necessary?

Hi everyone, hope y’all doing well.  I have been quite busy in the few weeks and apologies for the ‘not so long’ break. So for today, I would like to talk about one area in life where we all at times knowingly or unknowingly fall short which is ‘The Comparison Game’.

So, I will first state my opinion that, in most cases, nothing is gained from comparing yourself to others. This is because, we need to understand that everyone is different and as such we all have different destinies and journeys in life…I think if most people had accepted this fact, then there will be no need for this blog at all…but in this case it is.

If you grew up in an African home or society, it is very unlikely you will not be compared to either your siblings or your friends…and some parents thought that was the right thing to do in view of letting you know you were ‘slacking’ and you needed to back up. I remember one time my granny compared me to a girl in my class who was always first when I brought my end of term report home and I had the 2nd position. She said ‘Why can’t you too be first….what is soo special about her that she always takes the 1st position and you can’t?…(Some parents may even add, does that person have two heads…lol!).  I was really hurt because you see in my head, I was not competing with anybody. I was just doing my best and apparently it was not good enough…so I had to be reminded about the fact that someone was practically better off than me because they were always 1st. You know, I am not blaming my granny for her opinion because I know deep down, she wanted nothing but the best for me. What I had a problem with was the act itself which she may or may not know the consequence it may have had on me.

The truth is you are always compared to someone when that person is ‘seemingly’ doing better than you are. And honestly, that dampens one’s spirit..but this is mostly not considered by the person doing the comparison. Someone who is not very strong willed may resort to being jealous or envious of the other party instead of probably appreciating what they have and learning to be content with what they have and the season they are in. Others resort to silent and unnecessary competitions with the other party which normally yields no results. When that happens, you have allowed the situation to control you instead of controlling the situation with resilience, hardwork and appreciating the season you are in. For instance let’s say two friends graduated at the same time in university at the age of 23….By the age of 30, one of them has been very successful in terms of career, married with children and you know, life looks very good. The other friend however, has not even managed to secure a job yet not to talk of getting married or anything of that sort. In a typical society this friend who has not ‘made it’ yet will be made to feel bad in the light of his friend’s success. Though done ignorantly, it is up to the victim to understand that he is in his time zone and thus the fact that he is not where he wants to be yet does not make him a failure. Recently, a friend sent me a video describing the different time zones in life using different states in US as an example. The fact that let’s say California is ahead of New York does not make New York any better off….both are in their own time zones. And that is applicable to human life as well.

It almost looks like comparison cannot be eliminated from our society. ..because there are always expectations as to where someone should be and how they should have gotten there and what not. Upon realising that, it is up to each and everyone of us to be content with whatever season we are in now. We need to blind our eyes and ears to what we heard someone has achieved or what another person put on social media. I have said this in a previous blog and I will say it again that people only put what they want you to see on social media… don’ t get all worked up when everything seems to be going on well for another person according to what they put on their facebook. IG or snapchat. They are in their own time zone, it is their time to achieve whatever they are achieving…when it is your own time, you will also get yours! As simple as that…

One thing that comparison also does is it does not allow us to appreciate the good things you are enjoying at the moment. It dangerously lets you use someone else’s life as a mirror to yours. Such that in your mind that person becomes some sort of ‘god’ in your life and your standards must always be up to theirs. How SILLY! If not anything, being alive is worth much more and that should give you hope that it can only be better. Between the time you are working to get that job, money, promotion, visa, child, marriage or whatever it is and the time you get it, ask God to allow you to be focused in your own lane and more importantly, master what you have to learn in that season in order to fully embrace and appreciate whatever you want when it finally comes.

The only case where comparison is justified is when you are comparing your today self with your yesterday self. In that manner, you will be able to learn from your mistakes, be able to make better choices in the future….all in the bid to become a better person for you…At the end of our journeys in life, the essential part is to become better versions of ourselves and NEVER stop growing.

Thanks for reading. Hope you picked one or two from this. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section. God Bless.

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