There once was a young couple who owned a Maruti Alto. Together they would go out in their little Maruti, and they lived a blissful life, until one day the wife finds out that their neighbor drives a better car than theirs. From that day forward this young wife began to grumble and mumble to [...]


Comparison the Parasite of Joy


There once was a young couple who owned a Maruti Alto. Together they would go out in their little Maruti, and they lived a blissful life, until one day the wife finds out that their neighbor drives a better car than theirs. From that day forward this young wife began to grumble and mumble to her husband to buy a better car than their neighbour. As this young husband could not handle this pressure any longer, he bought a car on a vehicle lease far beyond his capacity. Since then, they had to go through many hardships as they did not have a sufficient amount of money to meet the daily needs that they met quite smoothly while they used their Maruti. Her only happiness was passing their neighbour’s house and seeing them noticing her going in a better car than theirs. Just as they pass the neighbour’s house the struggle begins to roll into their lives, their lives filled with misery. Over the course of my life I have come across a countless number of families who have lost the joy of life simply because they have allowed a fatal parasite known as ‘Comparison’ to enter their lives.

Even though this parasite is not strong and powerful at inception, the more you encourage its negative thoughts, the more you nourish a weak spirit to become strong and grow. On the flip side there are well experienced people who reject negative thoughts and weaken them so that they flee. Unentertaining negative thoughts are as though you starve someone to death. There will come a moment that the person cannot handle the starvation, they would seek for another source to be fed. Similarly, ‘Thoughts’ have the same manner. Feeding negative thoughts causes it to grow more. Nevertheless if you reject them and let them starve, they will certainly leave you and seek another avenue to feed themselves.

Anger, hatred, bitterness and jealousy are all by products of comparison. If you allow comparison or ego to evaluate your status or the scenario that you are involved in compared to the other, then it starts entirely producing negative reactions. You should be smart and mature to handle the thoughts that once tried to invade your mind and enslave you under their authority. A mature personality will captivate all negative thoughts and submit them to become obedient under his purview. If you allow your thoughts to invade you and make you obedient according to the purview of those negative thoughts, then you are no different to a cow controlled by the rope that is tied to its nose.

Please allow me to share with you the strategy that I use to control the thoughts of ‘Comparison’. When I initiated the second chapter of my life and I was growing at a slow pace, ‘Comparison’ tried to invade me by bombarding a series of comparative thoughts about my low standing and my classmates who were thriving at that time. On every occasion that I was forced to battle those thoughts, the first thing I did was, I shifted my focus from others to a self comparison. It made me feel good. I told myself “ Even though I used to be a drug addict, I’m not one anymore”, “ I was immoral but now I’m moral”. I was mentally ill but now I am a mentally strong character”. Whenever the thoughts of comparison arose I battled against it through a self comparison instead of comparing myself with my successful friends. I started growing in confidence.

Great joy is derived from within you, therefore, if you allow a third party to define the sources of your inner joy then, you will end up in great trouble. During the early stages of our marriage my wife used to wear a simple skirt that cost about five hundred rupees (Rs. 500/=), whereas my friends’ wives wore branded clothes. I did not allow the thoughts of comparison to take control over me, as I was extremely happy that I got a beautiful wife with a magnificent heart. She married me for who I am knowing my filthy past from A to Z. I began to treasure and value everything that I had instead of comparing what I have with what my friends have. Then life became joyful. When a contribution was collected at the office, I contributed what I could, I did not compare with what others of my caliber gave. I reminded myself “Well, I was a beggar sometime back but now I can contribute whatever I can”. I did not allow the parasite of comparison to overrule me with thoughts like “Well, your colleagues have contributed more than you, isn’t it a shame for you?”. I counter attacked that thought by saying that “My life has transformed into something much better than what it used to be, so I’m not interested in comparing it with others”. The attitude of self comparison in me has enabled me to weaken the parasite of comparison and assisted me to walk in peace.

The moment you transfer your mode of comparison from “Yourself” to “Others” your mode of happiness will also alter from “Self Satisfaction” to “Jealousy”. As we all are aware, self satisfaction is a joy bringer whilst jealousy is a joy killer. Who has permission to enter through the gates of your mind? Are they “Joy Bringers or “Joy Killers”? Take a serious thought about it with me once again. Love, compassion, humbleness, patience, kindness and faithfulness are Joy Bringers. Selfishness, anger, hatred, bitterness, fury, rage and immorality are Joy Killers. Joy bringers offer you peace and joy killers steal your peace.

It is sad to see that most of us still open the gates of our minds to joy killers knowing very well that they steal, kill and destroy our peace. It is time that we halt our relationships with joy killers, instead initiate new friendships with joy bringers. Sometimes you may have to alter your ambience in order to initiate new relationships with joy bringers, as you will not be able to do so if joy killers exist in that surrounding. Out of the countless number of friendships that I had while I was young, I only have five of them now. I do not allow outsiders to decide the level of happiness that I should wallow myself in. Certain TV channels are banned in my house, as they are not joy bringers but sources which release parasites of comparison that emit hatred, bitterness and jealousy.

Take an effort towards cultivating a spirit of appreciation, it acts as a strong immunity against comparison. The more you develop a spirit of appreciation the more the spirit of comparison weakens. As I wake up every morning I give thanks to Almighty God for all the blessings that I am in possession of on that day, I also give thanks for all the adversity and the things I do not have in my life on that specific day. That spirit of appreciation elevates me into a platform of joy. Moreover, it rejects the spirit of comparison which is plotting to steal, kill and destroy my inner peace. Just as the main entrance and the back door of a house is most important for the safety of a house, so is your attitude in the morning and at night. Start your day with appreciation rather than starting and ending your day with “Comparison” the parasite that can steal your joy.

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