There is always someone better and worse than you

better way comic

I once had my doctor tell me that there is always someone better and worse than you. She said “You can be happy being content with who you are right now, and of course you can improve. Who you are now is good enough.”

Now I hadn’t thought of this in those terms before. I always wanted to grow, but I never considered that there were people better and worse than me and that at some point you just have to accept that you are somewhere in a big stack of people. Intellectually of course I understood this, but emotionally I hadn’t accepted it. It is funny, isn’t it? We intellectually understand many things, but emotionally we fail to accept reality.

better way comic
better way comic

One of the things that happened after this realization is that the competitive nature that we have as a society is more about consumption and capitalism than about our intrinsic worth. Gen Z and others who are highly engaged in social media are constantly comparing themselves. I rarely compare myself. Not because I am special or great, but because no one had the unique history I did and it is not a fair comparison.

If someone had money from their family it is a leg up. If someone had intelligence that is a leg up. Everyone has things that are helping and hurting them in life, and I can’t fault anyone for using whatever advantage they can to survive. What I can fault people is when they feel they have to hurt others to survive. We can all survive and thrive and we don’t have to hurt others to do it.

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We often try to over-compete in life to feel safe. Safety is about accepting yourself, having good self-care, and finding others who respect and love you. We won’t find safety in social media, or in buying things. Instead of taking depression medicine, why not unplug from social media for a while and see if you feel better? I bet you will.