“Much unhappiness stems from comparison.”

At dinner tonight with my kids, my youngest said “I can’t wait to grow up so I can be a teacher.”

So I pointed out there were really two things wrong with that perspective.

Number one, I said, you can be a teacher at any age.  Sure they might not pay you, but there is little that you want to do, but you can’t do; at any age.  Any contraint that you think there is, well, is a creation of our own imagination.

However, the main thing that I mentioned was that I asked, Why are you looking forward to when you grow up?  Why not focus on your great now.  After all, I would love to be a kid and not have to work!”

Of course, we all do this.  We focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do.

The interesting thing to me was to realize how early on we take on the perspective of wanting to be who we are not.  I take it for granted in adults, who are always looking at the car next door or their friends nice house, but I was never cognizant of how early this affliction sets in.

As a child.  A small child.

And of course, it is probably an adult (in my case 50% chance me!) that taught them to focus on what they don’t have and who they are not, instead of the more healthy focus of what they have and who they are.

So, of course, I took the opportunity to teach my children well, and said how most of humanity is just crazy, and focusing on the wrong thing.  I reminded them to appreciate just being who they are and where they are in life – no matter where that might be. And they all agreed.

Who knows, maybe it will stick.  I hope it does.   For me, too.

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