Comparisons are odious

One of the greatest cause of unhappiness – perhaps even the only cause of unhappiness – is comparison. I remember as a young child hearing my mother say, “Comparisons are odious.” That is one of the oldest sayings in the English language, and one of the most important.

Essentially all suffering is the result of…

* Comparing what we have (or don’t have) today with what we had yesterday.
* Comparing what we fear we might have (or not have) tomorrow) with what we have today.
* Comparing what we have (or don’t have) with what others have.

If I own two bicycles while my neighbor owns one, I feel rich, but if I own two bicycles while my neighbor owns a car, I feel that the world has treated me unfairly and I suffer. If I could only crawl yesterday, and can walk today, I am grateful, but if I could run yesterday, and can only walk today, I become angry and resentful.

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