Bertrand Russell, the great American writer, showed how futile it is to compare. He wrote about how even great conquerors like Napolean Bonaparte felt bad because he compared himself to Julius Caesar and felt inferior. Julius Caesar compared himself to Alexander the Great and had portraits and felt less as a result. And Alexander the Great himself was known to envy the greatness of Hercules, who didn’t even exist and was a god. No matter who you are, the false thinking of comparing oneself to others is a path towards misery.
And that is the main focus and intent of society…to make you compare yourself with others. I read about yesterday how a beautiful actress named Courtney Cox is so sad because of her fading looking. She joked how she does not keep any more mirrors around the house. Another actress named Michelle Pfieffer described her growing loss of looks as a “mourning period”. And yet another actress Julia Roberts, in an interview, said “Fu*k, is this what I have to look forward to?” when asked about growing older. She said she fondly recalled her face five years old. Faith Hill, a beautiful country singer, was enraged after having lost a vote contest with a much younger Carrie Underwood. She said in interviews admiring the beauty of youth, “Gosh they are pretty.”
It is all just so painful for me to see these “fading” beauties reflect sadly upon their lives and being unable to accept “what is”. They are not actually getting ugly, merely, their faces are changing… It is their comparing themselves with younger women which are driving them into sadness, gloom, and depression. In nature, Flowers wilt, and beautiful animals grow old and their ‘beauty fades” (in the context of human nature which prizes the appearances of the young).
If you start comparing, you’ll begin to fight with yourself, with others, you’ll start to struggle, you’ll stop enjoying the present moment. I cannot stress this enough that the present moment is all that you have, and is all that is ever reality. I read a journal in a physics textbook which noted this as well. I vaguely recall two inverted “cones” and their points touching. It described how the present moment is that intersecting point, and is “reality”. Anything outside of it, the past and future, are only thought constructs, and do not exist except in your mind.
If you cannot live in the present moment, you will always be disjointed, incomplete, unhappy. Of that I can assure you as much as I can that an actor named Sylvestor Stallone’s best movie ever will remain Rocky I. Life does not have to be some scarce thing. If someone else has it, you don’t have to take it away from him. Both of you can be equally happy. It just depends on what you want for yourself. Happiness can be a collective thing for all who have the right state of mind. Everyone can be happy, and if you yourself are happy, then you enhance your happiness to those around you. In other words, if you are happy, then just by smiling and showing your positive energy, you make the person next to you happy. And then that person makes the other person next to them happy. And the happiness just expands and grows outward, and created like a positive energy balloon.
By just being happy, you are adding so much to the universe. You are making positive vibes and positive waves that are hurtling outward, and this will build upon itself and create so much good that you cannot even imagine. There are Zen stories of how a smile that you simply make can result in a great work being done halfway around the world. Suppose someone is having a bad day and is planning on doing something, anything foolish. Now suppose that one little smile of yours brightens their day, and makes them stop what they are doing and change course. Think of all the negative things that could have echoed through time and distance that you yourself stopped with one little gracious smile.