Friday, March 5, 2010
Compare and Contrast
In the years to come, I believe sociologists will study the changes that Facebook has brought into our lives. I've recently re-friended (not to mention word historians - since when did "friended" have a meaning) Pebbles. Because of that, I now am privy to lots of people, specifically young women, with whom she went to school. Pebbles had a pretty rough go in junior high/high school in that "Mean Girls" way. I would have expected her to harbor some sort of resentment or some sort of residual negative feelings. I was surprised to find that she has not. What also surprised me was the fact that she doesn't "keep score".
I grew up with "keeping score" - that is the constant comparison to those around, especially women, in some sort of competition. I suspect this grew out of Mom's insecurities and superficialities, but there always seemed to be the need to find someone "less than". Always this constant ranking - in order for us to feel good, someone else had to feel bad. We couldn't be happy for someone's successes, as it pointed to our own failures.
I've let a large part of this go, but never really thought about the basis for this and it's roots in morbidly low self-esteem. I've come to the understanding that there is room for all sorts of winners and that this isn't a zero sum game. We all can win; we all can experience success and one person's success doesn't mean anyone else is less-than or a failure. Yes, I can look to others to inspire me, and I certainly do, but I don't have to look to others failures to make myself feel better. All that really does is point the fingers back at me and my need for the world to tell me that I belong, rather than knowing it for myself.
I'm not doing a very good job of explaining this, but suffice it to say, that allowing myself to enjoy, I mean really en - joy, others' successes, to revel in them and celebrate them has brought much more joy into my life. Their successes do not diminish me. Your successes show me what is possible in the world. You are not the enemy; you are not my competition; you are bringers of joy; you teach and enrich me.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. This is not a zero sum game. There is room for everyone.