Always a Bad Choice

6a00d83451b3c669e20163032690e4970d I was at the Y reading the Tennessean, which I must say seems to be getting better. There were three women at the next table. The youngest of the three,  who was attractive and in shape, said her “good byes” and made her way to the exit.  Suddenly one of the remaining women said, “Jan is looking amazing”. The other replied, “Yes and I look like the old woman who lived in the shoe”. I laughed out loud!

Reminded me of my late mom. A few years before she passed at 92, I visited her and she described with excitement and joy the details of a baby shower: the goings on, the gifts, the people she met and how sweet and attractive they all were.  It was obvious that she had enjoyed herself and had a very good time.  Then out of the blue, she said, “But I looked like crap”.  The truth was she did not.  On the contrary, mom was a very attractive ninety year old woman.

Like most everything, looking like the old woman who lived in the shoe or looking like crap is relative.  I think what the lady at the Y and my mom were saying was, “compared to all those younger folks I looked old.”  For some reason, many of us seem to have an innate ability to put ourselves down.  That is one of the reasons why the Bible says it is not a good idea to compare ourselves to anyone else. Galatians 6:4 (TLB) Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won’t need to compare himself with someone else.  If we look with open eyes, we will always find somebody who looks better, is smarter or is more talented.  That fact in no way means that we are less than they are.  It means “they are them and we are us.”

I’ll never forget a Christmas bonus I got in the early seventies. I was blown away by the generosity of my boss. At the time it was the most money I had ever had at one time. Life was as good as it gets until I learned that someone else got more.  Instantly, my gratitude and elation turned to envy and agitation.  Suddenly, I felt like crap too. Comparing is always a bad choice.

Something to Think About

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