Peter, having just been told in what manner he would die, wondered aloud what would happen to John. We like to know what is going to happen to other people. We wonder why they get the good stuff and we don't (or vice versa). We like to compare. Comparison is not necessarily a bad thing. It has the potential to spur us toward better behavior, healthier choices, and/or much needed discipline. On the other hand, it may very well lead us to ingratitude, envy, jealousy, and depression.
Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man… It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone. C.S. Lewis
Marla stood in the doorway, her arms wrapped around herself like a shield, gazing bitterly all the shiny happy people in the building. To her left stood an attractive young blonde in a stunning red dress. Her highlighted hair was neatly curled in the latest style. She looked as though she had just stepped out of the cover of Vogue. Nice dress. She thought. Katy always has nice, new clothes. I'm always rotating the same three or four outfits. Her eyes wandered over to Mike and Jamie, a lovely young married couple surrounded by ladies with their eyes alight, all focused on a little bundle of pink. The ladies were waiting for a chance to hold the pink bundle that was, at the moment, nestled quietly in Jamie's arms. Ah, yes. Whispered the bitter voice in her head, They just had a baby. A healthy baby. No infertility issues there. Perfect husband. Perfect house. Gets to stay at home with her baby and be free from money worries. Finally, her gaze fell upon a smartly dressed woman, her brown hair streaked with gray, but not in an unattractive way. Her brown eyes held a warm serenity and some other indefinable quality. She had squeezed Marla affectionately and gazed with compassion at her, as though she could sense the turmoil roiling within. Marla let out a sigh. Then there's Lena. Always so calm, sweet and peaceful. She never struggles with her faith. She always makes great comments in class. Everyone respects her. Elder's wife. Perfect life. The young woman's eyes darted quickly to the ceiling to hold back the tears threatening to betray her torrential emotions. Everyone had it so easy! Why couldn't she get a break?!