value vs. compare

Sep 10, 2010

“Everybody is a Genius.

But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,

it will live its whole life believing it is stupid”

-Albert Einstein

When I read this quote by Mr. Einstein, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew exactly how true a statement it is and felt moved by it, felt like I needed to share it with the world. Maybe you have already seen this quote before, but I never had, so I am thinking possibly some of you haven’t either.

I immediately thought back to my childhood and how my parents believed I was smart and fun and talented and athletic and a million other wonderful things. They helped me develop a picture of myself which was very optimistic. I was full of courage and confidence and the knowledge that I could do great things.

Now, the reality was that I wasn’t fabulous at everything. I could not sew worth a darn, I could not cook without making huge errors, I could not do handwork, I could not keep my room clean, I could not play a game with anyone without making them feel bad about losing, I could not sing in tune, I could not do lots of things. But I wasn’t judged for those things. Who I was wasn’t made up of the things that were a struggle for me. My parents clearly communicated to me that who I was was someone wonderful. I wasn’t evaluated on a daily basis on my improvement or lack thereof in my weak areas, just praised for my successes and my strengths.

This is not to say my parents wouldn’t have wanted me to be a more competent cook or to have any semblance of ability in making my hands move those blasted crochet needles. I am sure they did. However, they did not evaluate me, my life, or my potential based on those things.

Next, I thought of my own parenting. Often I DO evaluate my children based on their weaknesses and what I think they need to improve. I want their weaknesses to become strengths and perhaps in doing so, they more fully notice how much of a weakness those things are.

I want my children to be the best they can be, to be who they were created to be. The question for me is, how do I accomplish that? How do I judge a fish as a fish and a squirrel as a squirrel? How do I value their innate qualities and help them see they are exactly who they were meant to be while also helping them reach higher and deeper within themselves to become better and of more service to their fellow man?

Value is the state of heart and mind I am striving for. Valuing and not comparing. Valuing each individual person and thing in my life for who and what they are and not for who and what they aren’t. Not comparing them to their siblings, their parents, their neighbors, myself, or anyone else, real or imagined.

I took a class once where this concept of value vs. compare was discussed. The speaker postulated that we learn to either value or compare during the ages of eight to twelve by what we see modeled around us. We learned that valuing people and our personal things brings peace, love, and truth while comparing brings pride, depression, and a false state of reality. I want to be someone who values, but I know I often compare.

I am putting it out to the world that today is a new day. Today I start to more fully value others and to toss the comparisons out of my heart. I want to be a builder of people. I know God doesn’t compare us…he values each and every one of us and I want to be like Him.

Want to join me?

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  1. Robyn

    Oooh, cool quote! I needed that.

  2. Anne

    Wow. This is such an important concept. I wish that I had written all of this and you had a wart on your nose, so to speak. You are a great writer! I love reading your posts!

  3. Tracy, could I put this as a guest post on apron girls? Amazing!!

    • tracy

      Sure thing…I think perhaps I should edit it first! I didn’t even proofread it for spelling errors, much less grammatical ones!

  4. Anne

    This is so good. Congrats for it being noticed by Apron Girls!