Research says that a person is happy if people around him are of the same financial standards and more or less lives the same lifestyle. That looks like a very positive statement. This research trys to reflect that a simple solution to most of our problem is to get surrounded by people who are living almost the same way as we are living. Sounds perfect, but somewhere it is hiding a human sickness of feeling jealous or trying to feel superior than others. It is a bitter reality that our quotient of happiness is dependent on others.
Let us look at a kind of a real life example. You are living in a middle class neighborhood and you are earning almost the same as what your friends or your neighbors are earning. You go on similar vacation and your kid goes to same school. You spend weekend on the same places like going to garden or to mall. Everything is going fine until something change in your friend or neighbor’s life. Assume someone got a good promotion with a great hike or won a lottery. Something happened which changed their standard of living. Now your mind start telling you to achieve that standard of living by hook or crook. With lots of difficulty you manage to quiet your mind as you are happy where you are, but then your spouse’s mind tells your mind that you were right and then the new drama begins.
We just don’t do comparison in terms of money, but we also do for physical appearance, respect, love and every possible thing. Man thinks that other’s wife is better than his and that other might be thinking vice a versa. We are just not limited to our life, but we put this sickness in our kids as well. We would want that our kid becomes greater than all others out there. We do it in the name of love or success or preparing for future. Whatever we say, but the truth is that we always compare our selves with others and becomes the part of suffering.
Why do we compare? Why cannot we live the way we want to live? Why do we spoil our ongoing happy life? The reason is the uncontrolled mind. It has unlimited desires and we are fool who thinks that it is our birth right to fulfill all of those desires. We feel sad and depress if we do not meet some of our desires and that will continue till the end. Let us look at some of the symptoms.
We feel sad – We actually feel bad when we see someone’s vacation pictures posted on Facebook where we didn’t go yet. Till that time we were not thinking much of that place, but suddenly a strong desire was born in our mind to go to the same place because it made us feel sad when we saw friend’s pictures and somehow we want to overcome it by going there and by posting our pictures. And then some of your other friends saw your pictures and cycle continues. Why do not feel happy when we see our friend enjoying? I am not saying that all our feelings are negative. In the starting we feel good, but then this tendency of comparison overpower all good thoughts.
We spoil what we have – In order to get what others have, we actually ignore what we have and many times we even destroy. I have seen this in couples mainly. They feel that other couples have more love than themselves. You just spend some moments and you declare that they have got better love than your self. How ignorant is that? The true love is not that is visible, but the one that is actually felt. The true love is not just about physical, but it is also about silent prayers for better half. However, we all care about what we see. Do you know that what we see is dependent on our perception and perceptions are very subjective.
We lose creativity – This ranking system in schools is very destructive and program us for comparison right from the childhood and that is why many schools are moving towards grade systems. Where you do not say that someone is better than hundreds of other student by giving him or her 1st rank. Instead they say you get based on how much hard work you did. That is the way life should be. When we compare ourselves with others we create a benchmark. We put ourselves in to boundaries. If we just focus on our growth independently, then we become unlimited. We can reach any height. We become a creator when we let go of competition.
We create hatred – This might sound very hard, but that is what happens in our mind. First, we get the negative thinking about what others have and we do not have and then this leads to hate for that person. This happens because that person reminds you of your limitations, your weakness. And, this does not happen consciously and we hardly realize that. We try to do showoff of our possessions to others, but what about the people who can’t even dream of achieving that life. Do you think they feel good about it? I might be 100% wrong, but I feel that sometimes that we try to make ourself feel superior by doing all these. Human mind is complex.
The world will be a better place if we all try to give our best without any comparisons.