Monday, February 1, 2010

Is it bad to compare yourself with others?

A defensive question of sorts... actually it’s an ode to the fact that like million others, I too compare myself with others.

This comes like introspection after a long discussion with dad. He says our generation is materialistic. He adds that we all want best gizmos, best jobs, best salaries at very young age. We tend to compare ourselves with fellows around and constantly live in a comparative world and we don't mind taking short cuts to achieve these goals. This according to him was a) succumbing to peer pressure b) a very materialistic instinct and c) not a very good practice.

He says one should work hard, pursue individual goals but certainly don't cringe and cry when others do better than you. "Let them do what they have to," is his advice. He believes that unnecessary peer-pressure (things like my colleague has a bigger car, my cousin has a high paying job etc) will only lead to frustration.

I was on the defensive best. I said, “What’s bad with that? Who doesn't want to buy a bigger car, who doesn't want to buy the biggest villa in town? It's just another way of being ambitious. Until you compare yourself with others, you will never have that zeal to outshine them and become better in the process."

We try to measure our achievements (say salary, job prospects etc) to live up to certain expectations. Is it bad? And is it bad to be love all these things altogether? Is it bad to be materialistic? By materialistic I mean I'd love to be rich, I'd love to buy expensive clothes and I'd love to be famous. Who does not? Who wants to die poor? But this comes with terms and conditions that all these things will be earned and not stolen/bribed through. I mean I will not kill people to be up there on the ladder.

He doesn't agree with one single thought here. And our argument continues till date.


NITYIN said...

I once had a same discussion on the very same topic. I still remember what my boss said,"We guys in Delhi earn just to pay our bills."

Being materialistic is not bad, but once you decide how much you need in life, it can create a focus.

It is a matter of outlook. Your dad is also not wrong for his views. We are influenced with our peers and background at some point of time.

No one wants to remain poor but then the chase for money is eternal. You won't still be satisfied if you had all. I guess one needs to be clear in differentiating 'wants' and 'needs' in life. It can create some balance in life.

Nice post..:)

aarkay said...

No harm in being materialistic as far as providing for basic necessities and some small luxuries is concerned.At the same time means should also justify the ends and not the other way round.Peace of mind should remain in tact for complete well being.