The Thief of Joy

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

I have always loved that quote. I think about these words when I am feeling down or like I am not “enough.” In today’s world it is so easy to compare ourselves to the perfect lives portrayed on social media. We see families in big beautiful homes, women with perfect skin and bodies, wonderfully behaved children, passionate marriages, and even dogs that don’t shed hair on pristine white couches from Pottery Barn. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, who truly knows what goes on behind closed doors? We cannot be sure.

While I do think that comparison is the thief of joy, perhaps the primary one, I think there is another culprit. The culprit is, well, us.

When I say that I am not even referring to putting ourselves down, which we shouldn’t do, either. I feel like I constantly am writing about the necessity of being kind to one’s self. Self-care is an important aspect of my life and I always encourage it in others. However, right now I am talking about our ability to rob others of their joy.

Tonight I was scrolling through Twitter and came upon a post by Chrissy Teigen. She wrote, “so many of you are little thieves [of] joy. you police what makes people happy until they don’t want to share anymore. you do it to me and I should be happy and successful enough to not have it bother me and it does. imagine what you do to anyone else. that is super sad.”

so many of you are little thieves [of] joy. you police what makes people happy until they don’t want to share anymore. you do it to me and I should be happy and successful enough not to have it bother me and it does. imagine what you do to anyone else. that is super sad.

Chrissy teigen; September 1, 2020

She makes a good point. Why do we feel the need to hurt others by mocking their moments of happiness? Is it because something is lacking in our own lives? Are we really that cruel? By the time grade school ends we should all be rid of bullies. It is sad when that is not the case. I cannot tell anyone how many times I have seen posts on social media that mock individuals who are on a weight loss journey. There is nothing funny about anyone trying to be healthier.

And Teigen makes another great point in that brief Twitter post! Despite being famous, successful, wealthy, beautiful, and all-around picture perfect, comments that attempt to hurt her actually do. Can you imagine what hurtful comments can psychologically do to someone who is a regular, non-famous person?

The world is not always kind. 2020 has really reinforced that for everyone. We cannot control what is out of our ability to do so. We cannot control the spread of a deadly virus, weather patterns, how our neighbor votes, etc.

But what we can control is how we treat one another, and sometimes that makes all the difference.

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