I was in the gym yesterday and talking to a new dude I met and he was telling me a bit about himself…
He had just moved up to Reno earlier this year, he was in school at TMCC, studying to be an anesthesiologist…
I asked him why he wanted to be that and he said to help people. To give to people less fortunate who might not be able to afford a surgery.
And then he said, “Because someone out there always has it worse.”
Now, lemme pause here for a second.
When he said that last sentence, I didn’t think anything of it. I actually felt really amazed that he wanted to give back so much.
But then I got into my car and started thinking about it… “Someone out there always has it worse…”
And it reminded me a lot of what some of us tell our kids around the holidays.
Hell, I told my nephew this exact same thing when I was home last week – “be grateful, be thankful and be giving, because someone always has it worse.”
And then we tell them about the little kids who don’t have a home, don’t have parents, don’t have any Christmas presents…
And I’ve never really thought about it critically until yesterday.
Here’s the revelation I had: What in the world does what you have, what you’ve been blessed with, what you’ve been graced with have to do with anyone else?
Your belongings and possessions and talents don’t affect your homeless counterpart at all.
Your success doesn’t minimize their situation.
We fall into this never-ending game of comparison.
“Someone has it worse than you… At least we’re not homeless, at least we’re not sick…”
Yes, I think we should all please recognize our blessings, but don’t use them as a measuring stick to someone else’s life.
Because look how that extends – once you start comparing yourself to people who got it worse than you, you’ll eventually compare yourself to people who got it better than you.
Then you feel inferior, you feel like you ain’t nothing, you feel like you gotta live up to that standard now because you’ve been taught the principle of comparison.
Guys – THERE’s no end to the comparison game!
I know we use these phrases among ourselves and with our kids to try to get them to understand there are other people in the world who are less fortunate, but I think there might be a better way…
Instead of comparing ourselves to others, let’s just focus in on what we’ve been blessed with. Practice gratitude, practice gratefulness, practice appreciation.
Once we master these concepts of graciousness, we can’t help but give back. You can’t help but want to give back because you realize you’ve been GIVEN so much.
Let’s focus not so much on measuring ourselves up against others … but mastering the fact that simply because we are alive and well, we’ve already been deeply blessed.