Somewhere around the ages of eight or nine—I have a grandson and granddaughter in this range—a child has capitalized on a growing Ego. The voice is almost magical and highly persuasive as it drives the child to distinguish character in any way possible. To stand out from the crowd begins with checking out the competition and comparing the assets and deficits. The child will feel either superior to (arrogance) or cheated out of (lack) as the situation is analyzed. These feelings carry over to the parties of any relationship. Comparison always results in greater separation from Source, separation that continues well into young adulthood and intensifies throughout mid-life.
Noting comparison behaviors in a child is a wake-up call to all adults to carefully consider how they approach comparison in their life situations. Adults cannot expect from a child that which they are not willing to see in themselves. The exploration of the still, inner voice is unconsciously cast aside in favor of personal development, with an opportunity to be heard, once again, at the sunset of life.
Anecdotal evidence may lead a child (or an adult)…
(1) To believe s/he is “right” about most things, evidenced by playing the card of the older sibling or adult knows best or uses physical or mental prowess to gain the upper hand.
(2) To unabashedly tout good fortune by playing the card of the announcement to go on a trip or constantly talk about how exciting it will be to experience an amusement park ride (with a height requirement).
(3) To mock and belittle the actions or situations of others by playing the card of calling out the emotion observed and adding an undermining comment. (Stop crying like a baby because you can’t go to the Children’s Theater—you’d never understand the play anyway).
(4) To want to feel superior at another’s expense by playing the card of criticism (Look at your hair—mine is cooler).
In using comparison behaviors, the child (or adult) thinks only of personal self and believes that RECOGNITION is guaranteed. At the heart of these deductions is self, or Ego. The child (or adult) desires personal happiness—at all costs. And, as we observe an eight- or nine-year-old, this realization is almost forgivable except that a child imitates adult comparison behaviors that are witnessed in a variety of environments. Interacting with adults who have honed these skills of comparison, we often shake our heads or are quick to judge.
Comparison behaviors can be effective when used to lift someone’s outlook, desires, or dreams rather than to dash or to squash those qualities. Recall the anecdotal evidence and spin them in a positive way.
(1) This is what has worked for me…
(2) Even though I’ll be gone for a while, I know that you will make our pet happy.
(3) Dr. Seuss’s “The Sneetches” at the Children’s Theater is the perfect play for you because you have so many friends with different interests.
(4) You’re getting better with the gel—let me put some of mine in your hair.
From a higher vantage: Regardless of age, time of life, or profession, a choice to lift or to squash someone else’s outlook, desires, or dreams is always at-hand. Lifting encourages self-esteem, compassion, camaraderie, and inclusion. Overall, each act or exchange of words affects the state of the whole. We are all in this life together. Choose to follow your higher Self and lift at every opportunity.
© 2017 Barbara L. Krause