The Comparison Game

(I posted this on Facebook, but thought I would share it here also.)

A good friend told me he avoids social media because it just makes him feel down on himself. Other people get the opportunities that passed him by. They have the big houses, the nice cars, the fancy vacations, and, by comparison, his life seems drab.

I get it. And, if that’s you, this post is for you.

Let me tell you about me.

The car I drive was made in the last century and it has 418,000 miles on it. The cottage I live in is the size of a modest two-bedroom apartment. I always wanted to travel, but I’ve never been on a fancy vacation. Never.

You’re probably younger than I am. You’re almost certainly prettier than I am. I cut my own hair; I looked at this photo and laughed. My teeth have problems. There are issues with my body that I don’t even want to discuss.

Most nights—and days—every week my wife is caring for my mom 45 minutes away. I would love to put all three of us together on one property, but I don’t have the money to do it.

I’m not famous. Most people can get away with not being famous, and they’ll be just fine. I’m an author. I need to be famous in order to make a decent living. But I’m not.

While I’ve had some successes, I’ve also fallen flat on my face time after time.

Please understand why I’m telling you this. I’m not complaining. I love my life. I am content and happy. I’m just writing this so if you feel tempted to compare yourself with someone, compare yourself with me. You can say, “At least I’m not as bad as Dwight Clough.”

It’s okay. I won’t mind.

In fact, I’m happy whenever you win. That’s a win for me. If you get to go on a fancy vacation or drive a nice car or live in a big house or capture the spotlight or whatever, I’m happy for you.

But I also know down deep inside underneath all the trimmings of this life, you and I are the same. We both want to be loved. We both want to be respected. Hopefully, we both want to leave our world a little better place than it was when we got here.

And I’ll tell you a little secret: God likes me. It took me decades to discover that, but once I did, all these other things stopped mattering so much. God likes me. And I think He likes you too.

Years ago some famous actress or model published a picture of herself in her underwear in a magazine. No make up. No glitz. Hair a mess. She did it because she wanted to send a message. Underneath all the glamour, she was just like everyone else.

Be at peace, my friend. You are okay.

You really are okay.


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