Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Comparative Considerations


‘Take nothing personally.’ At least, that’s what The Four Agreements invite. Also, ‘Do not compare yourself with others, for always there will be lesser and greater persons than yourself,’ says Desiderata; (which was at first purported to be a 14th century inscription in a hidden church wall, until someone discovered that the poet, Max Ehrmann, had written it, sometime in the first half of the 1900’s.) And then there’s my own observation about comparisons, called:

The Ten Pears

 A man sees ten pears in a bin at the store. ‘This one looks the best,’ he determines, and buys it.

A woman sees nine pears in the same store. ‘This is the best one for me, she avers,’ and buys it.

Another woman comes along to the pears. ‘Of the eight, this is the best,’ she smiles, and buys it.

A girl is next, sent by her mother. ‘Out of the seven, Mom will like this one the most,’ she’s sure.

A man sees six pears in the bin, and he carefully concludes that the one he takes ‘is best, indeed.’

Another man arrives, carefully examines the five, and picks the very best one for himself too.

An older woman, knowing fruit, sees four pears left. ‘Hm, here’s the best one for me,’ she thinks.

Another old man, seeing the three pears, thinks, ‘Ah! Now here’s the very best of the three!’

A very busy young man sees just two pears. ‘Eeny, meeny, miny, ... nope! This is the better one!’

At last, the lone pear sits there, until someone, wanting a pear, sees it. ‘Lucky me. I found a pear!’


Thing is, for each pear in the bin, someone found it to be the best, each time.

So... indeed, we compare by contrast, certainly, but at each stage of  our participation in evaluation we have only the ones before us by which to choose. As such, my having received the honour of being among ‘the world’s best oil-painters’ hardly really needs be taken personally. After all, yes, 72 countries participated, but only the artists who happened to send in their works to be evaluated were among those chosen. And then too, in all the categories (like fruit in a grocery store,) how many were ‘pairs.’ Well, enough entries for my ‘third place’ not even to be isolated, but paired, ‘tied’, with another artist, Eugene Kuperman, (whose ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ (shown below) strikes me as superbly profound, not only in its execution, but in its symbolism too.)

We who write books, who make music, who paint paintings, who do theatrical shows, who make movies, who act and dance and teach and lead and serve, in whatever capacity, are doing what we can with every one of our products directed at being accepted by someone else. Yes, someone ‘other’ may find this product better than that (even among my own works I’d place rankings); but the thing is that each thing that we do is paired with our energy, our intuition, our instinct, our talent, our state of mind, our physical health, and our innate ability at a given time. And time itself, we know, can affect even the very best of pears; (ha!, ask any fruit fly.)

Take nothing personally. Do not compare. But certainly, it is appreciated that one likes my fruit.

Now then, anyone up for getting 'the perfect pair' of my novels? See them at:

And see ALL the art at:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your contribution, by way of comment toward The Health of the Whole, always!