Comparing Yourself In Capital(ism)

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Capitalism occupies a strange space. Getting hung up on comparing yourself to other people near your age, in your social group, or in any way can lead to ruin. To some extent, thanks to human behavior, you will compare yourself to another person. One of the biggest strengths of a capitalistic society involves using that fact to inform economic policy.

In the U.S.A books about the self, which often rely on humanities desire to be introspective, command high sales figures. Ironically, these books warn against our habit of comparison. Should we be in the middle road of this strange piece of human behavior? Or if one monkey has a stick to gather bugs, shouldn’t the others have sticks to gather bugs with?

When you learn anything, you tend to compare yourself to someone who is better. After all, everything is easier to learn if you have an ideal to aspire to. The downfall of this is that some people are just naturals whom we can never live up to. Additionally, some of our heroes may be so far removed from our own personalities that emulating them could wind up being a  huge mistake.

When it comes down to regular life, the desire for independence, your own place, and the responsibilities associated with all of those things is great. But, everyone can’t be Jay-Z or even the neighbor with a six-figure job and a stable life. So how do you reconcile what you want with what you have? Humility is not worth the effort if you’re starving, and confidence makes easy bedfellows with arrogance when you’re wealthy.

We can’t have everything, but even necessities are difficult to obtain sometimes. Get all the necessities you can, and fight for the things you want. So far, that seems as good a plan as any.

 

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