If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~ 14th Dalai Lama
If my weight is too high, my features too plain, my health too precarious, my finances too tight, I can always look around and find someone who faces greater challenges in those areas. Therein lies the trap: when uncomfortable, seek solace in comfort by comparison.
It seems that much of our measure of pain and pleasure and our sense of thankfulness and peace is based less on our experience in the moment and more on our perception of how this experience compares to that of others.
Comparison carries the pathogens of jealousy, greed, lust, revenge, envy and narcissism- permeating the thin membranes of our mind and the thin skin of our heart, tainting the meaning we assign to life events.
The condition is fed by gaining comfort by comparison, making it nearly impossible to focus on giving comfort through compassion.
If I can only appreciate my situation in relationship to the suffering or to the bounty of others, I don’t know anything about gratitude. And if I know nothing about gratitude, I have very little to offer in the way of compassion which is the antidote to the disease of comparison.
Compassion isn’t relative.
Compassion isn’t reserved for the worthy.
Compassion is what we owe each other simply based on our shared humanity and fragility.
True compassion is poured out freely in light of another’s path or plight, not meted out relative to our own circumstances. Compassion is the inoculation against the rampant contagion of comparison.
Comparison sickens. Compassion heals us. Gratitude keeps us well.