Monday, 16 April 2012

Making comparisons

There are two really BIG things that annoy me when I am teaching. The main one, is when people (and unfortunately not always the students) make comparisons related to progress. While I know this is a part of the process, it can be (if done badly) be also a massive part of the problems.

This same thing is true when we start to compare ourselves, our progress, our journey and our success with that of others! Aside from this being an "unfair test", which in Science terms means that all the variables are not controlled or the same for each test group; it is also an exercise in futility. You CANNOT accurately compare yourself, your thoughts, your successes, your looks or anything else about the MANY parts of you with the MANY parts of someone else.

When I am demonstrating an art technique, occasionally my students will say something like, "Mine looks like crap compared to yours Miss, I'll never be as good as that." My first response is to say, "You're right, you won't be, because you just said it and will make it so." The second thing following quickly after the first is to say, "I have been drawing and making for as long as I can remember, I have studies for three years to gain an arts degree and have been teaching art for another 12 years as well as my own private practise. How on EARTH could you, with your ten years of mostly unguided practise, have the same level of skill as I do? That would make you the teacher and me the student." Not very gentle I know, but the gentle approach on this one makes the students think you are just saying their work is good because you're paid to; so, on this one, it's a boots and all lesson *smile* Teenagers are smart, they very quickly get the point which is, "It is impossible to compare our level of skill in any way that might be called remotely accurate."

The same is true of all facets of our lives. No one is completely honest, rarely will people share all of the miserable moments they have experienced. More often than not, people share their highlights. So it should be too! I would much rather focus my time and energy on the positives, and I would much rather hear the positives from others as well.

What I am trying to remind everyone of is the FACT that we are all influenced in different ways by different things every minute of every day since birth. ALL of these influences add together to make up who we are and what choices we make, therefore, there is no way we can compare these things...ever.

The only person with the right to make judgements about you, is YOU (and even then, why?????) The only person you can compare yourself with is YOU. Look at where you are now, and look back ten years and see the amazing distance you have travelled. Remember this when you next go to compare yourself with someone else...what they have achieved (or not achieved) has NOTHING to do with your own journey. You simply cannot compare.

You are you, a precious gift to the world, and the ONLY one of your kind. If for no other reason, this reason alone makes you special, treasured and successful. So, just concentrate on being is enough

With love and light

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