The True Standard

November 5, 2019-

Returning to Jordan Peterson’s “Twelve Rules for Life”, #4 states “Compare Your Present Self Only to Your Past Self, not to Anyone Else.”

As social animals, we so often give other human beings far too much credit, for perfection or superiority.  I’ve heard from so many:  “It’s cold and lonely, on the pedestal.”

So, I have made it my business to measure my progress, compared to where I was-six months ago, twenty, thirty or forty years ago.  Then (1970), I hid from my peers.  Now, I am in the world, but not of it.  Then (1977), I found solace in the bottle.  Now, I find peace and tranquility in service, in meditation and in standing up for the downtrodden.  Then (1982), I handed out money on demand.  Now, I contribute reasonably, without caving in to every demanding voice or thrust-out hand. Then (1981), I viewed different people with different lenses. Now, every human being is seen in the light of their character.  Then, (1954-1986), I looked upon myself as essentially unworthy of love, as damaged goods.  Now, I am proud of what I have achieved, no matter what others might view as inadequate.  Then, (until 2010), I saw myself as a frequent victim of “politicians”, “the Elite”, “the Establishment”.  Now, I see those in positions of power as basically living out their own life plan, without seeing myself as a pawn on their chessboard.  Then, (prior to 2012), I had no idea why I behaved atypically, so often.  Now, I know I have a place on the Autism/Asperger’s spectrum-and that’s okay.

The only true standard we have is our own life.

14 thoughts on “The True Standard

  1. I believe there is a vast difference between “perfection” or superiority and the “best that we can be.” It sounds like you are making good progress towards your goals, but I hope those goals are reasonable! In several of your recent self-evaluative posts, I have heard “victim.” That type of thought can become predictive — you have every right, and the means, not to be a victim, but rather a victor. You should be proud of what you have accomplished — and now looking forward to greater achievements rather than backwards to a self-victimized self.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Yes! Too, though, I try not to compare myself with others. Their successes or failures are not mine to worry about, and do not enhance my own. That doesn’t mean being an island among other people, but rather interacting with others in the most positive possible way I try to accept the ideas of others for what they are worth, and to incorporate into my own life those good ideas that fit with my own goals and values. As you say, it’s time to let go after briefly reacting to the anger or irritation prompted by others.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A changing perspective and positive actions to realize our deficiencies and to correct them is commendable. It is true that we should (like so many athletes) strive not to defeat others as to improve ourselves. That is the best way to win at life… Janet has a point about being a victim. Victims are continually living in the past and rehashing it in hopes of changing it. Survivors/victors accept the past and take steps to improve their futures.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good for you for measuring your progress as you step through life. Seems you’ve progressed into who you are and not what you feel others think you should be. I feel a changing perspective is a part of living no matter who we are because of life’s experiences and influences on our existence. There’s nothing we can do about yesteryear and best to move forward with clear visions and a little wiser. Your last line speaks volumes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So true! We can find so much fault in ourselves by comparing ourselves to others while neglecting to give ourselves credit for improvement and growth.
    This reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures. “But let each one examine his own actions, and then he will have cause for rejoicing in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person. For each one will carry his own load.” – Galatians 6:4,5
    It’s good to self-examine based on our own standards and accomplishments. The goal is to improve not try to be better than anyone else. Thank you for this reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

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