What Comparison Gets You

When I was about 13, I was invited to Mario’s Party.  I know I’m showing my age a bit when I tell you that this had absolutely nothing to do with a video game – it hadn’t even been thought of yet.  This Mario was one of the most popular 8th graders at Longfellow Intermediate School, and somehow I ended up getting a chance to go to his birthday party.  I remember the week before, as I walked through the halls, looking at all those unfortunate classmates who I knew didn’t get an invitation to the party, feeling pity for them.  Poor non-Mario-party people.

Day of the party, I’m stoked and can’t wait to spend time outside school with the cool people (where I’m sure I belong, of course) who are going to be at this party.  Once I got to the very crowded party of about 30 of us, I spent most of my time trying to hang out with Mario (it was his party, after all).  He had the same two or three other guys around him the whole party, and I spent most of my time there (and after the party) languishing in the fact that I wasn’t in Mario’s close circle of friends.

Comparing ourselves to others will usually only produce one of two things in us – pride, or jealousy.  Neither takes us to good places.

I didn’t really think about it at the time, but I experienced both extremes in that two-week period back in 8th grade, and it hasn’t stopped since then.  Stacking myself up to others in school, in my career, in the imaginary scoreboard of money and posessions – it only gets more intense as we go through life.

What if…just hang with me, what if we took all the time, money, and effort we spent on trying to keep up with everyone else, and started giving it away to those who really need our time, money, and effort?

Over the next month, we’ll take a weekly look at some ways to do that.  Hope you can join us, and hope you can believe with us that all the things comparison offers us just aren’t worth it.

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