Friday, March 2, 2012

Comparison: The Thief of Joy?

It was appropriately while looking at myself in the mirror when my reflections on this all began...

"Comparison is the thief of Joy."
-Theodore Roosevelt-

IVT Trng.,Medical Ward, VMMC, 2009
I remembered how we perused the charts of each patient in the hospital reading the doctor's progress notes. Everyday, looking at how every intervention has augmented a person's life... Studying them in comparison with others of the same disease.

While it holds true that certain medications work in patients with the same cases, each one of them is treated individually and at a personal level.

Now, in a different work but still browsing papers, we take note how much an article improves after every revision in comparison to the original ones the doctors submitted.

Looking at both circumstances, comparison was used to identify a result, to conduct further researches in order to advance science and to ameliorate a patient's condition.

Comparison is in itself a healthy word as competition could be. It could be used in cases of discernment ~ comparing states of consolation and desolation or to weigh options to aid in decision making.

What is more interesting is the phrase I read from Solvita Bennett's article. She started with a quote by Max Frisch,

"Jealousy is the fear of comparison."

She goes on further by stating that jealousy come from your lower self, and IT is a thief who robs you of the joy you can feel when you share.

I think it isn't the act of comparison itself that needs to be checked but the emotions it evokes when one does it. We should also be aware why we do it.

So, it was appropriately when I looked in the mirror that I see myself... what I have and what I lack...

then I look at others...trapped in this desire to be better...

"Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope, With what I most enjoy contented least;"

-When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, Sonnet 29, William Shakespeare-

Then I fix my eyes on God. I remember when I was younger how much I rant and rave over my co-travellers, comparing myself to their journey and my SD says,

"Look further...out there...
not at her...not at him...
 but there at the road..."

- a rephrase of 'not gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction' by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

So I'll now hop on to my friends' blogs today ~ hitting that direction where love leads me.


  1. Very interesting, Melissa! Good analysis! You continue to amaze me with the depth and breadth of your creativity, intelligence, and wisdom for one so young! Welcome to the Comparison Blog Hop -- your post brings a little spice to the mix ;-)

  2. I really enjoyed your post on this topic, your take on it was very original and insightful. You recount of looking at patient charts brought me back to my stays in the hospital. I always loved getting my hands on my book and reading everything the nurses and doctors had to say about me and my recovery progress :)

  3. I really understood how comparison could be a joy especially in the medical..cause that comparison can someday bring a much needed cure for a dreaded makes sense...As always...XOXOXOXO

  4. Hello Melissa.
    I enjoyed reading your views on comparison. I am not participating in the hop, but I can see how comparison can be both a good & a bad thing. I'm hopping off to read the other entries.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Melissa... very insightful indeed... I wrote on leah's post the sentence below

    "I feel that comparison is an invincible or abstract line that we humans have a tendency to cross!"

    Personally it is the individual's responsibility to understand what or why one crosses over this fine line..In who's benefit and why? As you so beautiful described in your post.
    Both Linda and Corinne have created a platform that will bring about many points of view!

  6. "I think it isn't the act of comparison itself, but the emotion it evokes..." so insightful. The flip side is jealousy.

  7. “Comparison is in itself a healthy word as competition could be. It could be used in cases of discernment ~ comparing states of consolation and desolation or to weigh options to aid in decision making.”
    Excellent lines! Also, “IT is a thief who robs you of the joy you can feel when you share.” Yeah, it is! Wonderful take on comparison dear Melissa! A most humble perspective, and full of light!

  8. Excellent, Melissa. I love the examples of medical treatment and research. And the way you ended not gazing at each other but looking together to the road ahead...Brilliat, sweetheart. ♥

  9. Melissa, I guess I never quite looked at it quite that way, that it's not comparison but the emotions it evokes. Very wisely stated. It is the emotions that can be troublesome. I can relate to your hospital discussion. Being a nurse, I can remember the comparing of charts and patient results, for improvement purposes. Yes, comparison is good in some circumstances.

  10. Deep, insightful, and so full of wisdom, Melissa.

    The first few sentences of your post took me back to medical junior internship where I had to browse through patients' charts and how I learned that even if two people have the same diagnosis, treatment is still individualized.

    "it isn't the act of comparison itself that needs to be checked but the emotions it evokes when one does it. We should also be aware why we do it." - this was really thought-provoking and makes me want to examine myself a little more to better understand where those negative emotions are coming from.

    Thank you for this post, Melissa! I learned a lot. God bless! :-)

  11. Jealousy. It is so instructive to this discussion. There are times to be jealous, like God is a jealous God, for things that are ours and should be, but most of the time, it is not good or healthy. Maybe that is what Teddy Roosevelt was really talking about in his quote. Something like that.

  12.'re the opposite of Dr I wonder all I've learned from that show is true..

  13. This is perfect, making it completely understandable for a laymen such as myself and how comparison is used in the medical field as a positive. thank you. <3

  14. Melissa, You always put your thoughts across in such a sensitive and interesting manner that we are left pondering over the excellent points. I really enjoyed reading your point of view on comparison. Thanks a lot for this post.

  15. Comparison could have a positive or a negative effect depending on the way we use it. Great post Melissa :)

  16. Wonderful post, Melissa. Some profound insights here. Intention plays an important role. I love the quote by Max Frisch.

  17. Dear Meelissa,lovely post throughout...
    pictures are equally suited... :)

  18. Interesting and insightful as always me dear soul sis. You do have a way with your heart and the talent to express it with your words.

  19. very interesting and nice photo!

  20. Yes, every comparison evokes emotions and can cause us to feel inferior, or to try and be someone we are not. I always say... "We are ALL butterflies in His eyes"... Each one is created unique, with different colors, and beyond BEAUTIFUL! We are His creation... created for a purpose, that only we can fulfill. ;)

  21. Love it Melissa, wish I had you for a nurse lol. I like your thoughts on caparisons you always find a meaning I have not thought about. Love reading your words. A peak inside your mind and soul


  22. Melissa,

    I love your perspective on comparison! We come from so many vantage points and sometimes the most positive ones can escape our grasp without deeper analysis! Your quotes are carefully chosen and divine. Here is my favorite:

    Look further...out there...
    not at her...not at him...
    but there at the road..."


    Hugs to you dear one for all of the beauty you give the world!

    My guest post on digital publishing on The Monice Magazine:

  23. I liked especially your view on jealousy. fear of comparision or rather arosed as a result of having been compared (by self or by others) I have felt that women are able to appreciate beauty around them until some valued man chooses the more beautiful. Waiting for your view on my post on jealousy

  24. I'm extremely impressed together with your writing talents and also with the layout to your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays..
    my web page - Debt consolidation and equity