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Learn by Appreciating Ourselves, Not through Comparing Ourselves

By: Helen Wu

Life is too short to be unhappy. Yet many people don’t feel happiness very often, plagued by thoughts such as “If I can be as good as so and so, I’d be happier.” “If I’m as pretty as so and so, I’d be happier.”  “If I get into the best college as so and so, I’d be happier.”  “If I can get a job in the best company as so and so, I’d be happier.”


The truth is that just as there are no two snowflakes of the same shape, there will not be two people living the exact same life. Life is different, you need not envy and continue comparing yourself to others. You need not wait and see others, watching someone else’s life in a daze. While other people’s lives have their own flowers, yours also has its green grass.


There is a fable: a pig feels his life is a mess, and he says to himself, “If I live again, I shall want to be a cow. Even though the life is hard, I could live a longer life and have a better reputation.” A cow feels her life is a misery. She says to herself, “If I live again, I shall want to be a pig, so I could eat every day, sleep every day, and not sweat.”


We seem to only envy the face of the light but do not see the huge shadow behind. No one knows how other people live, and no one knows the hardships of others’ lives. What we see as the bright and beautiful side of others’ lives are not always the complete story.  


Many times, a person’s misfortune stems from constant envying of other people’s lives. Instead of watching others, it is better to cherish ourselves. Life is different. It’s time to claim our own happiness.

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