Tag Archives: character

Human Nature of Comparision

It is human nature to compare yourself with others. And every time we do that, we always fall short of some imaginary grade. There will always be someone better than you in every aspect of life. If you are a software professional, there will be someone in your office who is a superior professional. He/she would always be able to do all their work and yours in half the time and if you compare yourself with them, you will always fall short. All of you in the Information Technology field, working in big Multinational companies know exactly what I am talking about.

And then, there is your personal life. I used to have this colleague a few years ago, who had a girlfriend, who was smart, funny, beautiful and every time I used to look at her, I could not help but feel this envy that I could never be like her. She had tons of friends and people always seemed to be drawn to her and her boyfriend (my colleague) was besotted with her. They went on to get married, have a daughter and pretty much start their own business. To this day, I feel like such a failure, whenever I look at her life (Well, as much of her life that I can see on Facebook at least). Everything she does, the way she cooks, the way she takes care of her child, even the way she celebrates her birthdays and other occasions, etc. always seemed to be so much better than anyone else I have known. Although, all I can really know is what I see on Facebook, still, I cannot help but wonder, whether I could ever be like her. The sad reality is that, every one of us has someone in our life whom we think we should be or aspire to be and we always fall short of that, regardless of what we do.

This has nothing to do with a role model. Having a role model is a good thing. We could never be envious or jealous of a role model. In most cases, a role model is someone who inspires us to do something better in our life. No, what I am talking about here, is simple and plain comparison with someone else. There will always be someone to compare. Sometimes other people compare and judge us with another person and sometimes it is we ourselves, who think that someone else is better, because we have not done a certain thing the way they have done it, OR we think that the way they have done it, is much better and feel jealous that we did not think of doing it that way. This is human nature.

Comparisons are usually the result of low self-esteem although this is not always the case. People with high self-esteem can also doubt themselves. Someone will always be more talented, more beautiful, more rich, happier, more satisfied than you in every case. They may have a better life, a better job, a better spouse, a better family and their life always seems to be put together beautifully, while you feel that you are struggling in the most basic aspects of your life. Human nature dictates that we cannot help, but keep looking for ways to win against this person or persons with whom we have these kinds of comparisons. More often than not, that person is not even aware of your existence, let alone that you have been comparing yourself with them. The truth is that even that person has his/her own battles to face every day. He/She may have everything put together on Facebook, which is what is making you feel so down, but the reality could be very different.

It is all about perspective. What you see when you look at them, may be very, very different from what is actually going on in their life. Not everyone who posts happy photos on Facebook are happy and not everyone who posts sad photos are unhappy. The fact is, we may never know what is going on in another person’s life regardless of how envious or jealous of them we may be. The only thing that is true is that when we compare ourselves with others, more often than not, we will end up being depressed, because it will always seem that we fail this imaginary competition. Being happy or satisfied with yourself begins with you. God made every single one of us in his own image and He has blessed us with different personalities and talents and each one of us can be the best that we can be with God’s help. Unfortunately, it is human nature to doubt. We think we are less that what we are because someone else seems to be better. It is not easy to stop comparing yourself with others. But it can be done and it needs to be done. With everything that is going on in your life, comparing and feeling bad about yourself is just an added overhead to an already complicated life.

It does not matter what other people think of you. Even the people who do great things or good things – which we feel that we are not doing so, does not really matter, because God looks at the heart. A person doing something good or generous, is not necessarily a good person. You do not know what is in their heart. If you are sincere in your feelings and your doings, then that is all that matters. People’s perception should not matter. Accepting this and following it is very difficult. We live in the age of too much information and it always gives us negative thoughts about ourselves and about our life. Filter out the bad thoughts. It is okay to doubt yourself, it makes us question certain things and sometimes we may find answers that will enrich our life. But never think that you are less than someone else, OR that someone else is better. No one is perfect. It is the imperfections in each of us that make us who we are and being happy with who you are makes you content. When you do reach this state of contentment, please let everyone know because I too am still trying to get there! 🙂

 

But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load. Galatians 6:4-5

 

Is there a time limit for an apology?

“I am sorry” or “I apologize” or “I am sorry for hurting you”… How often do we use these words? And are they received in the manner with which it was said? When do we say these words? Right after we make a mistake? Or after we realize that we have wronged someone? Do we wait for a while before apologizing? Or do we immediately say sorry? What happens if we wait or what if we don’t wait? So many questions regarding a simple apology… The reason I bring this up, is recently I made a long overdue apology. Well, I think it was overdue anyway.

We were classmates for more than 10 years, before we became good friends and coincidently landed in the same city while we started our careers back in 2006.Since we knew each other for such a long time, it was inevitable that we became roommates too and that brought us closer. She and I were from different backgrounds, different castes, different religions…but we did become good friends. And then, as it usually happens when you live in close proximity with someone, misunderstandings inevitably occur. I do not remember exactly, what went wrong or at what point everything fell apart. I am still not sure if the whole thing was my fault to begin with, but I do remember telling her that I am sorry and would like to put everything behind us and start again. I guess we were both too close to the hurt and misunderstandings that the apologies and the effort to make things better did not help. We have lost touch after that, moved to different places and got on with our lives. Although I tried to contact her several times through Facebook, I was never able to. I heard that she lost touch with most of our classmates over the years and no one knew where she was or what she was up to and life moved on. But I always had this small thought, that someday I would try and apologize again and mend fences.

Recently, through another classmate of mine, I got to know by chance that she is alive and well and had gotten married recently. So I wished her well through a message on FB. I knew later that though she had seen the message, there was no response. So it led me to believe, that perhaps she was still angry or holding a grudge or upset and therefore I apologized again. There was still no response, even though she had seen my apology. When I mentioned this to my husband, he said that it was all my fault for reminding her of the past and that there was no need for me to say sorry. I could have just wished her and left it at that…Why did I have to apologize for something that happened so many years ago? What good was that going to do? My motives in apologizing were only to try and mend fences and to rekindle our friendship if that was possible. I also wanted to be free of any guilt I might have had in causing the rift. Was this selfish of me? Was I being self-centered when I expect the other person to accept my apology, thereby absolving me? Am I wrong?

So I ask again… Is there a time limit for an apology? If a year or two has gone by, does that mean it’s too late to apologize? It takes a lot of character to admit when you are wrong and apologize, does it not? So when do we say sorry? And what happens when the other person does not care for your apology? Do we keep trying? How long should we try and apologize or try and mend fences, before giving up. And if there are people, who no matter what we do, or how many times we apologize, simply won’t accept it, and then what do we do? Do we just let it go? So is our conscience clear because we tried our best to fix things, with the best of intentions, but it was not received in the manner with which it was presented? SO does this mean that the other person is now at fault for not forgiving the apologizer? If there indeed is a time limit for apology, what should it be? 1 year? 2 years? 5 years? 10years? What happens after that?

I guess I am baffled at the thought of not forgiving someone or not accepting someone’s apology. Why would you not want to forgive? Why would you not want to try and mend fences? The world is such a harsh place and you need all the friends you can get. Why would you throw away years of friendship because of a fight? I mean, I have had people hurt me so many times and yes it does feel very, very bad at the time. But when someone sincerely apologizes, I feel so glad and accept their apology whole heartedly. Although the relationship never goes back to being the same, in many ways it becomes better. In some cases the relationship heals enough to be ok… but ultimately neither them nor myself, have any ill-feeling towards one another…Isn’t that a marvelous thing?

Apologize; say sorry, mend fences… You will not be here forever. In the end, the only things that matter is not how much money you have, or what your current role is…. The only things that truly matter are how much you have loved; how much you have helped and how much you forgave.