Comparison in Dance and Life

Comparison in Dance and Life

[An] important lesson to impart to a young student is that they can be proud of their achievements, regardless of how those achievements compare to another’s. It is a waste of time and energy to be concerned about the achievements of others. (John White, Teaching Classical Ballet) We live in a time that is rife with comparison. With the constant presence of social media, it is even easier to know what is going on in other people’s lives. But do we really know what is going on? I’ve heard it said before that it is all too easy to compare other people’s highlight reels to our personal behind the scenes. This is not fair or healthy. You cannot be envious and happy at the same time. From time to time, I find it is helpful to give myself a quick check-up in the comparison department. I ask myself “Do I compare my talents, my accomplishments, or even my belongings to other people’s?” I am often surprised at what is revealed, and it helps show me that there are more important things to do than compare myself to others. The Bible warns us against the dangers of comparison and gives us advice that is still relevant today. People have struggled with comparison and how to overcome it for as long as there have been people. In Jude (Jude 1:19) we are warned against the division comparison can cause, directives to avoid comparison run throughout the ten commandments (Exodus 20:17), and Israel’s first king, Saul struggled with it. “Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David...