Comparing yourself to another person is an act of violence. It is an act of self harm. Even if you compare yourself favorably to one person or group of people, you are building a house of cards that will collapse as you try to stand on it. Self-comparisons are hard to avoid. If we do not compare ourselves to others, others will compare themselves to us. They will lump us into categories, according to their particular expression of ignorance. Because comparing ourselves to each other is so common and so destructive, we have to learn how to use all the comparisons to expose our egos and set us free.

To be free from our ego we become humble. If we think we are big, we look at a mountain. If we think we are small we look at a mouse. If we think we are smart, we think about solving world hunger. If we think we are stupid, we have no business thinking at all. When we think about all the comparisons we can make, we see that it is a futile game that our ego plays, trying to figure out which is prettier, a flower or a sunset.

When we catch ourselves bringing ourselves down or building ourselves up by comparing ourselves to others, we can remember that we are playing an ego trick, trying to pretend that we are moonbeams or pimples. When we step out of the comparison game, we become humble. When people put us into their categories, we greet their confusion with compassion. We no longer have to pretend that we are something more or less that we are.

Humble is neutral. It is greatness, without being great. Understanding our basic humility, helps us to cut through our confusion. We don’t have to make ourselves out to be anything other than we are. What we are is beyond compare.