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We all do it.  Everyone is guilty of comparing himself or herself with someone else.  But is comparing ourselves to others all bad?  I suppose there is a healthy form of comparing and an unhealthy form.  The healthy form shows itself when a person does something well as setting the ‘bar’ or standard; a standard worth aiming for or emulating.  For instance, a good teacher might do a self-assessment after seeing a well-seasoned teacher do a lesson or teach a class and ask how can I do better or be more effective?  This question is really aiming at how can one be excellent or improve.  There is wisdom in this type of comparing.

However, it is the unhealthy form of comparing that is most insidious and the form I consider folly.  This is a lesson I continue to learn or still have difficulty learning.  The unhealthy form of comparing aims not in working for excellence like in our teaching example above but rather this form of comparing begins with not being satisfied with one’s giftedness and talents (or looks) but measures his or her worth or usefulness based on how well someone else does it or on how attractive someone else is.  The perennial lesson here is to rest in or be content with who you are.

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