“It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither
the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others” – Saint John of the Cross
Most of us cannot help comparing ourselves with others, at least now and then. In fact, this has become so entrenched today that in order to have self-esteem, it seems almost necessary to say, “I am better than he is, so I am good.” As long as we compete with each other and compare one with another, a certain amount of envy is inescapable. It is the very rare person who is completely free from jealousy.
But as our spiritual awareness grows, we will know that the Lord is present in everyone and that there is uniqueness about everyone. The truly spiritual person never tries to compare himself or herself with others, or others among themselves. I have never been able to understand the compelling phrase, ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. It does not matter very much whether I keep up with Tom Jones or anybody else; what is important is to keep up with myself by making my today a little better than my yesterday.
We can keep this ideal before our eyes by not comparing ourselves to others, remembering that all of us have complete worth and value.
(From ‘Words To Live By’, by Eknath Easwaran, founder of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, copyright 2005; reprinted by permission of Nilgiri Press, P.O. Box 256, Tomales, Ca 94971, www.bmcm.org.)