I have a friend who works with women at risk. Her job is important and valuable, she is literally at the front line with women in dangerous situations.
I have a friend who is a teacher, she is educating the next generation, sowing into them and helping them grow into the men and women of tomorrow.
I have a friend who is a pastor, and as a part of her job she is involved in visiting those who are unwell and in need, in our community.
And then there is me, I am a just a mother.
See what I did there. I just made what I do less important, than all my friends.
And I know they would read that and protest loudly.
And I would defend myself with phrases like “I just wash, and cook, and do housework. What you do is so much more important.”
And they would say “No!”
And I don’t know about you, but more often than not the comparison is not coming from other people. More often than not the person who is doing the comparison is me. I am the one who looks at what everyone else is doing and devalues what I am doing.
And that is where the comparison game is always the wrong way to go. Because it always leads to argument and dissension, and a question of who has more worth, or is doing a better thing.
The truth is a person who is involved in creating great spaces for people to live is doing important work.
A person who is harnessing the power of words in a legal forum to advocate for their client is doing important work.
A person who gathers the fruit and vegetables we need to feed our family every week is doing important work.
We all need each other, we all need to do our own little bit, to help our community function.
As Theodore Roosevelt says,
Comparison is the thief of joy
And isn’t that so true. Because comparison, leads to discontent with the lot I have been given. It leads to envy and jealousy of others. It leads to a robbing of my joy.
So what is the solution?
For me the cure to comparison is found in community. In living in close community with my friends, I understand that what each of them does is amazing, yes! But I also understand that what they do is hard.
I understand and share in their trials, in the classroom or in the hospital. I pray with them when they are dealing with difficult situations. I understand that I could not do what they do. So I cheer for them and I pray for them, I listen to them and I encourage them.
And they do the same for me. For it is in community that we all understand that we all have important work to do. And it is in encouraging each other that we can all do our own allotted work to the best of our abilities.
Choosing joy over comparison,