Comparing ourselves to others is something I suspect we all do, it’s one of those basic self identity things, even within the context of interbeing and oneness with the whole and all, a body identifies itself and not self and a whole lot of that, for human beings, is about looking at other human beings and self and thinking about similarities or differences. At least I do that; maybe it’s a function of coming from a family with five kids, I don’t know. I’m not a psychologist, don’t want to be.
I’ve looked at psychologists and compared them to biologists and teachers and thought, nope, I’m not that, at least nobody is ever going to pay me to be that, even if I am, and it occurs to me how sad a culture that we often self identify based on who writes out the paycheck. But indeed, as a teacher, I’d sometimes classify students based on their majors, biology majors interested in biology way different from those interested in healthcare, who mostly were just interested in jobs and money, some interested in how bodies work, for sure, but not all that many, the biology majors not healthcare more interested in life, lots into nature, way different from the business majors who mostly definitely wanted to make money.
The history majors, well, nobody actually Majored in History, no money in looking back, they were mostly looking back, and those into political science kind of wanted to rule the world, or change it, many figured that one first must rule it to change it. Lots of those ended up being lawyers, go figure.
And then there were the psychology majors, trying to figure themselves out, and maybe trying to figure other people out, too or maybe with no clue what they wanted to do, but psychology was relatively easy, and the professors often interesting. Psychology was kind of fun. Philosophers? Heck, even less money in that than history, and most can’t abide the thought of going into law or politics.
The schools are all pushing STEM. STEM mostly pays the bills, that’s why it’s pushed.
But this is about comparison and judgment.
And competition, compassion, cooperation. A bunch of co words, we won’t get into the freaking linguists, intellectual snoots if ever there was such a group, and right now they’re probably reading and thinking about togetherness, even in competition and comparison.
Judgment is about decision making, laws, rights and wrongs. The linguists and psychologists and philosophers can have a heyday with that one. Go at it.
So every once in a while I find myself comparing myself to others, playing psychologist maybe, maybe just trying to figure life out and saying WTF, let’s see how that person handles it or that group of people or whatever, and so I look at people and get to know some of them, some quite well, and I read lots of books, dozens of books about heroes and crooks, yup, listen to lots of songs, too, poetry with music, and I think about it, not computer like at all, my thinking, very human, so yup, I feel about it, too, and there’s some folks I totally grok and some, not much at all.
As to some scale or graph or better or worse chart, where I might put myself on some axis of judgement, or where I might put another, well, it flat out does not exist. Not in my world.
And that’s funny, because I come from a highly “judgmental” people. And I put that word in quotes because I don’t want to get into some freaking song and dance with the snooty linguists about judgment and discernment and which word one should use to describe comparing one person to another, or one lifestyle, or one decision or action or whatever to an alternative and I think Jesus Bloody Christ, we all do it all day every day and if we didn’t we’d be sitting paralyzed, unable to make a decision about anything.
So, on the one hand, I can look at my friend J. and compare myself to her, her lifestyle, her decision making processes, her likes and dislikes, etc. and I can say to myself, heck no, that is not an example I’d like to follow. It looks quite unwise to me, or unattractive in some way. There is an underlying basis for all of those actions and that lifestyle and I understand some of it, not all of it, I’m sure, we are complex creatures, and yes, I’m kind of sitting in judgment of it. Or I’m discerning. It’s part of a decision making process, which in no way makes J. a “bad” person, or a lesser person, or a greater one. I’m not comparing myself and deciding that I’m superior. Certainly, I’m no “better off” than she.
I like her quite a lot.
Then, on the other hand, I read the first piece in Graham Hancock’s Reader on the Divine Spark, the bit by Nassim Haramein, and I compare myself to old Nassim, and I think okay, fine, hang by your first knuckles from the side of an ice cliff and derive the unifying theory of everything while living on 3K per annum from the back of your freaking van, and I compare myself to that and I judge the crap out of that guy. And myself. In a different kind of way. That’s not an example I’d like to follow, either, those ice cliffs are dangerous. I’m sure not comparing myself to that one and deciding I’m inferior, lacking in some way.
I don’t know that dude, can’t say as to whether I like him a whole lot or not.
So yes, I compare myself to others quite a lot, compare folks to each other, compare life options, do lots of judging, and discerning, and make all sorts of decisions. I refer to lots of folks as douchebags, mostly people who do douchy things, it doesn’t mean I don’t like them, it means their actions are such that I’m left with kind of a washed out, acidic feeling, a wine gone bad kind of vibe, kind of vinegary.
Maybe I’m an awful human being, but I don’t think so. Or am I being judgmental?