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The Folly of Comparison

It’s perfectly acceptable to compare one brand of car to another, such as which model has the best fuel economy, is the safest, and looks the best? Cars are interchangeable, and while status is a factor, they really serve just one purpose—to transport us from point A to point B.


Human beings, on the other hand, have many purposes. So, comparing appearance, height, weight, financial status, job title, or any of the other dimensions that could be used to compare one person to another is pure folly.


Comparing ourselves to another person is the primary source of most unhappiness, misery, and self-doubt. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”


Comparing objects like toasters or washing machines is wise. Comparing the Mona Lisa to an Andy Warhol is nonsense.


Even comparing our current self to a former version of who we are is futile. The only comparison of humans that makes any sense is what we use to evaluate our individual progress against the best version of who we aspire to be.


No one will ever do as well as you at being you.