"Comparison is the thief of joy." - Theodore Roosevelt
On good days I try my best to live by these wise words. I approach creative endeavors and my passions with audacity, attempting to forget about recognition, reward, legacy. Not coincidentally, on these days I'm also more generous and forgiving to others. After all, aren't labeling and judging akin to comparing?
When I struggle being mindful and forget how comparison can steal joy, I'm invariably less kind and frequently less happy. On these days, if a creative impulse strikes me, I'm as likely to discard it as put it into the world.
Anyone taken note of current research linking the deterioration of self-esteem in teenage girls to overuse of social media? Theodore Roosevelt's words - uttered almost one hundred years before Facebook etc. was unleashed on us - presciently predicted this modern-day plague. How can young girls - or old men - avoid comparing themselves to others when the number of "friends", "likes", "views" are so ubiquitous? On bad days - i.e. if I dwell too long on one of these poisonous platforms - I feel my own joy dissipating. Create? No way. Enjoy a process rather than a destination? Forget it. Appreciate someone more fully? I can barely muster the grace.
"Comparison is the thief of joy." Begin, again.