A little girl came home crying. When her mother asked her what was the matter, she said, “Bethany is moving away.”
“But you don’t even like Bethany,” said her mother.
The girl sobbed, “But now I don’t have anyone to feel better than!”
Yes, we learn to do the Comparison Dance early, don’t we? Who is better looking? Who is smarter? Who is more popular? Who got into the better school? Who got the better job? Who got the promotion?
A Hindu proverb reminds us:
“There is nothing noble in being superior to some other person. The true nobility is being superior to your previous self.”
Isn’t this a better way to dance through life?
It frees us from feeling inferior to someone or superior to someone. After all, there will always be greater and lesser persons than ourselves.
And it frees us to explore the possibilities of our own uniqueness.
This is important, because you are an original version of “human being.” No one has ever done a human life quite the way you are doing it.
And although we can learn a lot from others, we don’t want to miss our uniqueness. And we don’t want to waste too much energy on the Comparison Dance. As the dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov said:
“I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself”