Monday, May 8, 2023

May 8--Comparison Is a Joy-Killer

One is never fortunate or as unfortunate as one imagines. 
--Francois de la Rochefoucauld

    Or, as my mother often said, it's never so bad that it couldn't be worse. I suppose there is the corollary: it's never so good that it couldn't be better. I'm thinking that is where this quote is headed. 
    This quote invites comparison. It's always possible to find someone in a worse condition or a better condition than one's present circumstances. It is human nature to compare, and I don't believe that is necessarily a good thing. We've heard the phrase "there but for the grace of God go I," which is dreadful. It implies that God has somehow chosen to favor me and afflict the other person. Nope. On the other hand, constantly comparing to those more fortunate leaves us discontent with our current circumstances. That may be OK if it inspires constructive action, but it can also generate loads of unhappiness. 
    Staying content in the present moment, while often a challenge, is the place to be. 

Astronomy Picture of the Day, May 6
"Twilight in a Flower"
Credit & copyright: Dario Giannobile

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