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Better Than Others?

Colin Stuckert

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

-Ernest Hemingway

The Stoics also spoke often to the error of deeming oneself better than his fellow man (or woman). 

This has profound implications for life if you think about it. How much of life is spent comparing, contrasting and competition with others? Think about it a moment. You’ll realize that much of what we all do on a daily basis is an effort to become ‘better’ than other people.

But do we ever pause to ask ourselves why we do this? Further, what happens when we achieve this “betterness”? Do we win an awards? And if we do win awards, what then? Is your happiness really tied to the fact that one is superior to you? Hardly a noble goal, if you ask me. As Jesse Jackson said, “Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.”

Perhaps a better goal would be to compete and become better than your former self, as Hemingway suggests?

I say yes.