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COMPARISON AS A TOOL FOR GROWTH AND INSPIRATION
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“That the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work”. ~2 Timothy 3:17 ESV
Often we are told that we should not compare ourselves with others. Max Ehrmann in his famous poem Desiderata said, “If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”
The issue is that you should not necessarily feel arrogant or disheartened in your comparison with others. Your life is about you: about becoming a better you and not competing with others. Nobody can do a better job of being you than you, so you should only compare yourself with others as a means of realistically assessing yourself, with a view to continuous improvement.
There are some things you have to accept that you cannot change and develop the strength to appreciate yourself nevertheless. For example you have to accept your gender, age, height, etc. I like this quote by Michael Bassey Johnson, “Short men are happy, for they can pass easily through the door. Tall men are happy, for they can stand erect and pluck oranges with their hands. Again, short men are angry, for they cannot stand erect and pluck oranges with their hands. Again, tall men are angry, for they cannot pass easily through the door.” There are advantages and disadvantages of everything.
However you will find that with a little courage and forbearance there are quite a lot of things you can change. There are many lessons to be learned from the achievements and failings of other people that you can use in the endeavor to improve your capabilities. There is boundless potential inside of you crying to be let out.
“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do”. Pope John XXIII
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