I remember learning to finally solve the Rubik’s Cube a couple years ago. Accomplishment and pride surged through my veins!!!
…Until I saw a YouTube video of a six year old boy solving three of them at a time while juggling.
Suddenly my “super accomplishment” seemed super lame! I guess I’ll have to find some other way to fame.
Generally, we don’t like it when others are better at something than we are. Ok I’ll speak for myself here: I don’t like being second best.
It’s kind of strange in a way, to be so insecure that when someone else succeeds, we instinctively feel inferior. As if their success has anything to do with our failures.
But it’s so common isn’t it? Friendships and families are often ruined because of jealousy and comparisons. It starts early on in childhood, this isn’t something that is learned or taught, in fact, one of the most natural reactions children have when they see their sibling with a new toy or a candy is the phrase: “No fair!!”
Overtime this attitude is masked in more “mature” and adult sounding complaints such as “I always get the short end of the stick” or “How come nothing good ever happens to me?” Or “Jimmy always gets all the promotions!” No one mentions Jimmy’s two failed marriages or the fact that his adult kids won’t speak to him. We just see his big house and fancy car. The grass is always greener on the other side, isn’t it?
Deep down most would acknowledge that such comparisons are untrue, and that we all have experienced at least some good fortune in life. We’d admit that sure, while that person’s job looks a lot better or this person’s family is so close, we certainly wouldn’t want to trade everything in their life for everything in our own.
Yet I still hear myself saying things like, “THAT person sure seems to afford everything.” and “Why can’t my kids act as polite in public as hers?!?”
We love to think of ourselves as original. We want to stand out from the crowd. We want to be different, to be the best, the one with all the great ideas…the one with the most amazing talents. Ironically, we also learn most of our knowledge by copying one another.
As if copying an original idea is original.
I guess the problem lies in the high hopes that we will be The Hero. Maybe for some not the hero, but certainly the one at the top of the ladder.
Isn’t it true that most of our daydreams centre around us being the fastest, strongest, prettiest, smartest, richest, the most spiritual, etc?
Deep down within each person we have a desire for greatness, for uniqueness, to make a difference in the world.
When we base our self-worth on these things it’s so easy to get crushed…because let’s face it, there’s so many people in the world that eventually nothing we do, when compared with others, is all that impressive, is it?
This is especially true with our generation. Youtube and Social Media have made our local superstars seem mediocre and unimpressive. I think we’re the first generation in world history to have the ability to see the World’s best performers within a matter of seconds as the next one loads.
It’s our loss.
Tragically, being unique has been falsely associated with our abilities, when that’s never what individuality was meant to be.
We are incredibly valuable!
Every single person was made in God’s image. Not only that, we are also stunningly unique. Not even the most identical set of twins have the same personality or fingerprints! You don’t have to look further than a grieving parent or spouse to realize that once a life is gone, there is no replacement. No matter how close of a match in appearance and character, the lost one could never be brought back!
Think about that! You are irreplaceable!
When someone is gone, no one misses their ability to play tennis. No one cares about how many miles they could run and how fast they got.
They are missed because of who they were to the people who loved them, not what they could do.
Sometimes it’s easy to feel like just another nobody, lost in a crowd of billions. Remember that to those who love you and care for you, you are extremely important!