We are in a constant state of comparison. There is a cultural initiation to living a life comparing one thing to another, and one person to another. Think about some of the issues society is having with the portrayal of the “ideal” woman/girl as shown in magazines. It hasn’t been until recently that women are taking a stand to rectify the long-term damage as a result of these unattainable/unhealthy models.
We’re all so unique and yet we’ve been indoctrinated into a culture of comparison. I just finished my doctorate (yes I’m proud), but I had months of doubt when classmates who started with me finished a year before me. I began to question my intentions, my drive, and my intelligence. Fortunately I had a dissertation adviser who was loving, supportive, and compassionate. She reinforced the importance of everything in its own time and you can rush creative endeavors. She made it clear that I was the midwife to a piece of work that will be a part of me forever.
What drives us to compare ourselves to others? How is it possible that we’re creative and yet we adopt a common yardstick to which very few if any will attain success? It happens in all arenas, even in the illness community. People compare their diagnosis, prognosis, and response to treatment, as if that’s not a catastrophe waiting to happen.
I was watching Good Morning America, and they spoke about a sound-man that lost his battle to cancer. Robin Roberts shared that he had the same transplant she did at about the same time and unfortunately his was not a success. Would we deem him a failure? Was his body not up to par?
When it comes to illness there are protocols that are based on numbers. When researchers try out new drugs it’s a numbers game. Protocols are created based on the greatest number of people responding to a drug, suggesting success. It would be great if that insured a happy healthy ending, but it’s not that simple because the human body is an undetermined variable.
Let’s abandon comparison! As I write that I chuckle because for many I might as well have told you to abandon breathing. It’s time to break the confines of our lives of comparison and allow our bodies and spirits to follow a course that fits our calling and destiny. It’s time to release ourselves from the pressures of measuring up to unrealistic expectations.