We seem to be so permeated with the hustle and the bustle of life that seldom do we meditate for a while. And even when we have the leisure to practice meditation, we cannot help but look about – compare ourselves with folks around us. Eventually, we feel we are dwarfed and outshone, a sense of inferiority creeping over our hearts.
Shortly after the end of the first semester in university, a friend of mine was intended to organize an elementary school reunion. Once he met me, and then muttered, just like to himself, “You know, A went to Tsinghua University and many of you guys were admitted to prestigious schools, but I…” He was bowed and broken. All of a sudden, an energetic ego ebbed away. His usual self lost its tone. If I had never known him, I could hardly imagine a shining boy of him, so popular among his friends.
For a second, I was struck dumb by some sort of shock. Then, I rummaged through my mind for some words to comfort him, “Well… Don’t be so sad. You are you yourself, so unique in the world… Never undermine yourself by comparing with others…” Maybe a little bit old-fashioned, but that was the most persuasive words I could conjure up at that moment.
Finally, when the reunion day came, we got wildly excited to see the strange, yet familiar faces, which really took a hard time to recognize. During the party, we chatted and laughed, completely intoxicated in the atmosphere of joy. We did talk about our universities, but for most of the time, we told each other of some interesting and unheard-of anecdotes or jokes instead of simply bragging about our universities… But other than that, I also had a glance at that friend. Seeing a broad smile on his face and a sparkling boy back, I felt quite relieved and blessed.
Once I watched a TV program, in which a connoisseur of refined taste said,“Never compare a precious piece of white jade with another, for you will never feel gratified by not finding a piece with higher purity.”I could learn at least two layers of connotation from the sentence. One is no comparison among pieces of jade, the other is, which probably most of us would neglect, this piece of jade has already been perfect and flawless to some extent.
This is exact what I believe, not just for jade, but for mankind as well. Sometimes so easily could we notice other’s beauty, and meanwhile, see the stunningly weak counterpart on ourselves. Living under the shadow of a yawning disparity, we exaggerate other’s beauty to an unexpected and even hazardous degree, and are overwhelmed by a veil of melancholy. It is high time to reflect and to have a more comprehensive perception of ourselves. Just like that friend of mine, he’d better start to think about his charming personality and the incomparable identity of each individual, for comparison is too toxic a process to spare us from either complacency or inferiority.
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