The woman who gazes at a hated reflection and wishes she were thinner and prettier.
The poor man who wears himself out pursuing the worry-free life of a millionaire.
The failed applicant who lost to someone with a longer resume (or better connections).
The scrawny sophomore who sits at home envying the senior jock who seems to go nowhere without an entourage.
All these people are comparing ourselves to others. It’s a rampant problem in today’s society. I needn’t rehash the costly and damaging things people do to attain the standards society promotes.
Much Christian teaching these days, directed at millennials in particular, has recognized the insecurity bred by this phenomenon and offers an answer: to “stop comparing yourself to others and find your satisfaction in God“.
There is truth to this. Even the world manages to stumble haphazardly upon this truth as it blindly gropes its way across the landscape. “A broken clock is right twice a day” and all that. And I would hasten to add that there are good reasons for some of the comparisons we perform. Job hunts are comparisons. We want the best person for the job. We would not hand a pulpit to an uneducated layman (or Satanist), or an engineer’s desk to a botanist who doesn’t know a wrench from his rear end.
However, at the end of the day, there are still lonely and undervalued people out there. There’s a missing piece to the puzzle: us. We have a role to play. And I suspect that we have allowed the competition aspect of life to spill its banks, become more prevalent than it should be.