Post Mortem

The practice of comparison

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/12/2019 12:24:13 PM IST

 One of the common practices in our culture that we face is comparison. Comparison made on someone’s achievements, physical, academics, fame and various other aspects of life. As a result when one feels short of those things often lead to frustration and dire consequences. In many of our life’s instances, we have either been compared to or have compared ourselves with other people. The truth is we have lots of categories upon which we can compare ourselves and lots of people to compare ourselves to. 

Sadly, this phenomenon of comparison is vividly practiced not realizing the damage it could incur in our lives. God in the very first place has created us to the best of what humans can be and every individual has been created uniquely and with a creative purpose. Choosing to be someone that we are not meant to be takes off the significances of God’s masterpiece. 

The reasons of comparison

Comparisons are mainly made out of our insecurities. Very often we measure our lives against someone’s achievements, success and popularity or riches. As we focus on those things, we realize there is a lack of something in our lives and we start to feel insecure and start to compare ourselves with them.  But honestly, we need to understand the fact that life is not fair. Some people are born with more advantages than others. And having these things in life is not bad or wrong but just because you don’t have it doesn’t mean you are incapable or ineffective or put yourself down. Some of the facts that one should understand even before we start to make such comparisons with others are - not every individual grew out of the same situation as you. Some individuals come from a wealthy family and they could get any job or achieve or be successful in life because of their power, wealth, status and influence. Even after knowing the situation, yet we compare ourselves unfavourably with others and largely take the blame on oneself for not trying hard. Therefore, we need to understand the situation and the differences before we start to compare ourselves with others. Another fact that we need to realize is the practice of nepotism or bribery or back door appointments through unethical practices and corruption considering our society. Therefore, parents often tend to blame or compare their children with them which is quite unfair. Well, these are some of the things that we have to give a thought about rather than simply start comparing with others. 

There are also people with the thought of viewing others living as perfect life. This means they see some photos of their friends on Facebook or Instagram on a glorious trip or vacation and we start to envy them and probably imagine how perfect their lives are or living a perfect life. However, the truth is the trip was possible because they worked hard to earn and save for the trip. Another example is the stardom and success that an actor enjoys and which we are fascinated about but many of them in their initial stage have struggled and some gone through rejection. We focus on what appears to be on the outward which is the truth but not the whole truth because there are stories and experiences behind their success which we don’t dwell on.      

The effects of comparisons

When comparison is made one has to understand that it destroys the individual’s life. It degrades him psychologically and morally leaving him distraught. In this process of life’s confrontation with such issues, one of the few things that could hamper one’s life is losing his originality. Our originality loses its essence and begins to lose our focus on ourselves. It forces him or her to be someone else that he is not. It may put him in such situations where he has to put on different mask.  And honestly, there is no security and joy in losing one’s originality but rather becomes more tiring and exhausting in this process. Another consequence is the power to lead him to frustration and depression. It shatters his dreams and ambitions especially when one is in the stage of facing obstacles and hurdles which stands as an impediment from achieving his dream and ambition. 

Another setback for him is development of inferiority feeling in his life or low self esteem. In this process, he develops the mentality of considering himself lower than the others. That, he is incapable of achieving and lowers himself beyond people’s expectation and this feeling crushes his image. It never gives him the opportunity to boost himself or motivate himself to do anything in life rather label himself ineffective. It causes him to lose his self esteem and confidence. It is a setback where his life can be chained and never feel anything right and honest about him. He puts him in a situation where he humiliates himself and looks down on himself. Therefore, comparison in words sounds simple but in reality it takes its toll on the life of the individual. It damages his positive outlook of life.    

Also, it causes the individual to shy away from any social situation. With all the factors imbibed on the individual through comparison, he is unable to face public interaction. Lastly, comparison suppresses the individual’s talent. When he is not appreciated or acknowledged in his work, he secludes himself from his own talent that at a later point of time, he is not able to express his abilities but rather he feels inferior or lowly about himself.     

Some positive aspects to comparison 

In ways, there are also some positive aspects to comparison if we know how to deal with it rightly. Firstly, it can develop a feeling of motivation and inspiration through someone who you think is an example or a model you look up to. Secondly, knowing someone of their abilities and achievements also pushes you to do better or achieve something greater than him. Lastly, we can learn from them and keep our focus on achieving our goals.  

How do stop comparing ourselves with others.

Firstly, we are created fearfully and wonderfully according to psalm (139:14). It simply points out that we are all unique in our own ways. We are not created incidentally but with a specific purpose. We are all different from each other in size, colour, looks and background.  And if we have to feel low and inferior comparing ourselves according to the standards of the world, we fail to truly understand our worth and significances. God has called each individual with a specific plan and purpose. He looks at us with a creative purpose. As we trust and believe in Him, be confident and assured that God is leading you to a greater purpose by being the very person that God has made you. Embrace the uniqueness and let God work in your life. Don’t let comparison steal your joy of life rather appreciate and live life with the hope that God has something prepared for every individual.     

The Bible teaches us to rely on God’s opinion rather than the opinion of others. Our own insecurities often causes us to compare ourselves with others, looking for a way to feel superior. You and I are God’s perfect design and we need to accept who God made us to be. The Bible states that we are God’s workmanship, and He has equipped us for every good work (Ephesians 2:10, 2 Timothy 3:17). We were not created to feel inferior, nor should we aim to cause others to feel inferior but we must continually dwell upon the truth that each human being has inherent value because they are made in the image of God. And as we commit ourselves to the Lord, let God use you in His own ways. Not only are you and I fearfully and wonderfully made, but when we are in Christ, He sees us as perfect in Christ. That means God will ultimately lead us and guide us according to His own plans and purposes.

Lastly, as Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:17-18, “but he who glories, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.” It means if you need to compare, compare yourself to the very Word of God. God is more interested in what you and I become in Him rather than we compare ourselves based on our success, wealth, car, looks, and status. All that we need to understand and cherish about is the way God sees us as His own child.

Chandemo Murry, Purana Bazaar

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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