One thing I’ve noticed about social media is that it lends itself to comparisons. We watch others and think that their lives are perfect. We want to be more like them. So we try to create the perfect image. As an artist, I’m learning to make no comparisons.
There are times when we need to make comparisons to understand our lives and our surroundings. We make comparisons to solve problems. Similes and metaphors are simply comparisons of two things. That’s not what this essay is about.
From the very start of life we’re taught to compare ourselves to others. I’ve watched my daughter compare what she has to what her friends have. When she sees that they have something that she doesn’t, she wants it. It’s human nature. Or is it?
Perhaps we’ve been programmed to think this way. Consider the media and advertising. We are constantly barraged with messages that tell us that we’re not good enough, that we need more. We are told we need to update, upgrade, and outdo those around us. It’s a false dilemma. We are given two choices: Live without and be unhappy, or buy more and be happy. But there’s a third choice: Just live and be happy.
As a songwriter, I’ve often fallen into the comparison trap. We artists and writers pick our heroes and try to emulate them. We make comparisons. This is natural, especially in the earlier stages of our creative journeys. But as we grow as creators, one of the best things we can do is learn to make no comparisons.
When one learns to create art without comparing it to others’ art, is when one truly becomes an artist. – dse
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