For some reason, I’ve been thinking about comparison a lot today. I don’t know why, but some bits of ‘8 Simple Rules’ popped into my head, about how one of the tropes that the show returns to again and again is the idea that Bridget, the older sister, has things come to her that her younger sister has to work for.
We’ve all felt it. We’ve seen someone else doing something really well and thought ‘oh, it comes so easily to them’ and we feel resentful because it’s not easy for us. When I was at school I used to look at the other girls, both in my classes and on TV. Even the supposedly ‘plain’ ones have friends, I would think to myself. It seemed so easy for them to do all the things teenagers were supposed to do. Things I never really did, or not until I left home. There were the girls who had boyfriends, who went out to parties, who did brilliantly at maths or science.
But here’s the thing. That’s not the whole picture. As I pondered how I would compare myself with these girls, I realised that they would be comparing themselves to other people too. So would the boys. There were things I *was* really good at. Like languages, and computers. Whenever my IT teacher was away for whatever reason, I would end up spending most of the class helping other people. These were things that *did* come easily to me.
Everyone, as my mother is so fond of saying, is different. “It wouldn’t do for us all to be alike!”. No, it wouldn’t. And the thing about that is, everyone has things that come easily to them. But the energy that we’re spending on being envious of each other’s abilities is energy that’s being misspent. Imagine what you could achieve if instead of getting caught up with sending negative charges towards someone who has achieved what you want, you spent that energy in practicing, learning, getting better- following your own path and not worrying about theirs. Or imagine if instead of letting the envy become negative, you recognised that this person can do something you want to be able to do, and you ask them, nicely, to help you.
Other people will always be better at some things than you. And you will always be better at other things than they are. It’s what we do with that information that counts. If we learned from others’ strengths, and sought to use our own strengths to lift other people up, imagine what kind of change we could inspire and bring about!
I don’t know quite where I’m going with this other than to say, if you rock at something, I applaud you, especially if it’s not something I’m good at.
So tell me in the comments- what talents do you have that are easy for you? How do you share them with others? Lets start looking at how we can use what we have to make the world better!