The best thing we can do

Comparisons deplete the actuality of the things compared… William S. Wilson

Let’s just say that if “Comparing Oneself to Others” was an Olympic event, I would represent the US beautifully and place if not take home gold (in all legs) in Sochi. My training began as soon as I was aware that the smart/cool kids sat at that table for reading, the OK ones sat there, and I was in with the “possible testing required” group. And for a long enough time, I believed that this served me in some practical way: it fueled my drive and determination or gave me benchmarks or something.

But too often for my taste what it really gave me was what I considered a justifiable reason to be an ass, even if I was acting as such in the name of “all honesty” or “the truth of the matter” or whatever. Like because of these things, because of the ways others behaved, and “because you know they’re saying the same thing about me” I had no choice but to judge them aloud, preferably in the company of those who would take my side.

We can stand to remember that “sharing our truth and light” does not equate to tearing down those who come at things differently than we do. That people who are writing, creating, counseling, doing anything in the name of art or God or mental health or yoga do not get a free pass to be even casually mean because “well we’re only human too.”

And that along with years of therapy, long walks in nature, writing poetry, and doing the hard work of understanding where our sweetness caught the infection, the best thing we can do right now is to stop it. Just, stop it.


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