“There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
~ Kurt Vonnegut
It’s easy to be mired in–to be content in, even–the woes of comparison. Day after day, the world can seem the most bitter of foes, fate and luck and God and whatever else you wish, all conspiring against you, from the little things to the big. It makes us bitter as these things stack up, because as malleable a creature as we humans are, there are certain things we just never seem to forget…and most of them bad. What’s more, surrounded as we are by our fellow man, it’s all too easy to make the fatal mistake of comparing ourselves to others.
The result? Discontent with what we have, with the qualities that make us who we are. We begin to treat someone else’s success as our failure, our own successes as null and void by comparison. It’s a way to live, I suppose, and some dare say it drives us to better…but how does that lead to happiness?
Be kind. Embrace the world for what it is. Take stock of all that you have–it may not be all that you want, it may not even be half the things that someone else has, but it is yours, as those other things are someone else’s. Admire each on their own virtues. Is it wrong to hope, to wish, to long? No. But we mustn’t let it consume us. Happiness must be found in the moment, and a little kindness–a little acceptance–can go a long way to achieving that.
“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'”