Tuesday, June 15, 2010


"One of these things is not like the other.  Which one is it?  Do you know?"

We learn early on to compare and contrast things in our physical world.  And, somewhere along the line, we begin to compare people.  Then, eventually, ourselves.  I've been thinking a lot about this lately.  In general, we look to others, to comparisons, to define who we are.  Am I prettier or uglier?  Fatter or skinnier?  Talented?  Intelligent?  Capable?  Spiritual?  I fell into this trap when I went to BYU.  In Texas I was a big fish in a small pond.  At BYU I was a little fish in a massive sea of talented, smart, spiritual, amazing over achievers.  I compared myself to my peers.  And, according to my measurements, I was mediocre.  It's funny though.  If you look at what it takes to get into BYU I should have thought of myself as the cream of society.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting down other colleges.  But, people really have to work hard to get into BYU.  These people are not the slackers.  It really is okay to be mediocre cream.

As a child I looked at people as taking slots of society.  Once someone is "the cheerleader" then that slot is taken.  I would compare myself with my 6 living older siblings and tick off, smart -- taken, beauty queen -- taken,  cheerleader -- taken, stylish -- taken, super pianist -- taken, beautiful voice -- taken, hilarious -- taken, computer whiz -- taken.  As an adult I see a similar propensity among the women around me and myself.  It is easy to look at the ward and neighborhood and say, spiritual giant -- taken, crafty -- taken, capable -- taken, great teacher -- taken, talented -- taken, beautiful house -- taken, gardener -- taken, spectacular mother -- taken, taken, taken, taken, taken.  What I wish we could all see is that these comparisons are ludicrous!  Sister "A" may be a good teacher, but so is Sister C.  Sister F is really musical.  Yet, does that mean Sisters X, Y and Z are not?  It means nothing of the kind.

Each person is a constellation of beautiful strengths and weaknesses.  Every person is amazing and unique.  And, what I want to remember myself is, it is important to be me.  It doesn't matter what someone else can or cannot do.  What is important is if I can do something better than I could a week ago, a month ago, or a lifetime ago.  What matters is if I am getting better.  What matters is if I am learning and growing.  The only person we should compare ourselves to is our own self.

Love yourself.  Dare to be unique.


  1. Wonderful post. You should be a motivational speaker! I completely agree with what you say, now to just get my brain to follow that all the time. No matter how hard I try, I still seem to compare myself. Grrr!

  2. This is a really good reminder for us all. I think it is a weakness for me to compare myself to others. I try not to, but it is easy to fall into that trap. We all need to realize that we all have something to contribute, and it is JUST FINE if we aren't as good as Sister X at something because we have our own talents!

  3. This is so perfectly stated. I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately. What you said is exactly what I needed to hear. Seriously, you should publish the things you write! =) I really appreciated this. Thank you so much.

  4. This seems to be a theme around bloggerdom right now. Good thing, too, because it is so badly needed. Comparison is such a horrible trap we so easily fall in - walk in, sometimes. Thanks for a great reminder.