Growing into childhood

BY: Julius Mawuli Ziorklui
Life is like being in a race
Life is like being in a race

IF you grew up having siblings, I’m pretty sure the times your parents committed the most atrocious crimes were when they bought everybody a gift and didn’t get you one.

Even in school, anytime you saw someone with a new thing, you’d go home and worry your parents to get you that new thing.

Although this may not apply to all of us, this was the case for most of us. It is only fair to think that as we grow, this habit of thinking that people are better or happier than us because of the things they have will go away. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

The irony is that we know that it is not right to compare ourselves to others, but we can’t help it because it is our default make. We look at the things that people have which we don’t and become jealous, sad and even depressed in the most severe instances.

But why don’t we consider the weaknesses of those we compare ourselves to? It is only when we don’t do well in an examination that we compare ourselves to those who didn’t do well too…

The comparisons we make are unhealthy ones and that’s why we keep frustrating ourselves. The truth is that regardless of who you are, some people will always be better than you.

The earlier you accept it, the better for you. Others have had different opportunities, experiences and even people to help them, hence the kind of life they have today. Therefore, comparing yourself to others is very unfair to you.

Life is like being in a race. In a race, you don’t look at people and wish you were running like them; you focus on finishing well. That is how life should be lived.

Also, you are comparing yourself to others because you are only seeing their “blessings”. Just so you know, the so-called blessings can be faked. Also, those who have real “blessings” also have real challenges that you might not be aware of.

A few years ago, I met a gentleman whom I had concluded was very happy.

He was driving a nice car and I wished I did same too. While having a conversation with him, he confessed that he was really frustrated and had regretted taking a loan from the bank to buy the car. He further confessed that he barely could sleep because he was under a lot of financial pressure.

The eye can only see what is revealed, but not all that is revealed is what there is. There is nobody without challenges. Everybody is going through some challenges. The only reason you don’t know about the challenges others have is that they can’t broadcast it.

An unhealthy social comparison is bad for your emotional health. The only comparison you are allowed to do is “self-comparison”. This is when you compare you to you for the purpose of evaluation and motivation to do well.

You can look up to others for lessons and secrets but not for comparison which results in jealousy and competition.

The only comparison you are allowed to do is “self-comparison”

When you compare yourself unhealthily to others, you might become blind to what they are doing right. You focus on the fact that they are just lucky or you even deserve better than them.

Your focus affects your feeling and your behaviour. Know that no matter how bad your life is, you still have a few things going for you. You are not the worst person on earth.

When we were children, we behaved like children because we were limited in our thinking. Whilst some things will come to us naturally as we grow, others require a more conscious effort on our part.

We need to cultivate the habit of being thankful for the victories of others and not wish we were them. You can find happiness in your victories when you can find happiness in the victories of others.

Take some time and be thankful for the victories of others. It is time to mature.