December 2021 Lessons – A Student’s Perspective

I am guilty of sometimes comparing myself to other people. The comparison tends to be along the lines of another person’s social success or success in their field, their worldly possessions, their family life, self-confidence, discipline, etc. I find qualities in another I think I lack, and then, strangely, react negatively towards myself because of it.

It’s not so much the mechanism of comparison that is the issue, but its content. Every tool that aids us in learning about ourselves has the capacity to do good or to do evil. Which one of its natures it lives out, is in the hands of the person who wields the tool, meaning that if you know how to use it correctly, it can help you evolve.

My habit of comparison bears no fruit in my work. The only thing it does is aid identification and the crystallization within a certain feature. But in school we are working in the other direction, and the mechanism of comparison can be useful if we work it, in the other direction as well. The only individual we should ever be comparing ourselves to is ourself. This is the proper way to use this tool, because now, it facilitates work, rather than aggravating negativity.

If today I am better than yesterday, and tomorrow, better than today, then I am evolving.

The issue is that sometimes I am so wound up in getting rid of certain negative thoughts or emotions, or certain way I do or say things, or a certain mannerism, that I forget to take a step back and see how far I’ve come. Looking back is just as important as looking forward. It helps put things in perspective, helps understand what I have done so that I can know what to do. Taking a few hours at the end of the week and reflecting about the week past, a day or two at the end of the month, a few weeks at the end of the year. We all set goals, work towards something, focus our energies. Taking the time to then see how we are evolving is as equally important as working to evolve.

If I am comparing myself to other people, then it’s a sure sign that I am not reflecting back on my efforts. This train of thought only helps to fill me with negativity and stifle my efforts. But if I am comparing myself to who I was, then I am using this tool properly.

“Learn to see more and more. Search back into your past, into your whole life… Always see your mistakes more and repair them.”
Gurdjieff