I ran across a quote today…
“Comparison is the death of joy.”
The quote is attributed to Mark Twain who died in 1910 so let’s assume he wrote that sometime in the late 1800s.
That means even way back then, people knew that if you found joy in your <<insert something here like garden, home, family, degree, book, etc. etc. etc.>> but then compared it to someone else’s <<insert their thing here>> you might kill your joy in what you had or experienced.
Obviously, Twain also had no idea about social media and all the comparisons that take place on those platforms when he wrote that quote. He would likely be appalled if he knew how easily we can kill joy today with one swipe of a finger down a screen to show yet another picture on social media… a picture that immediately kills our joy.
Such a shame. In today’s world, it can be hard to find joy but it is still there.
You might find joy in your garden, the one you spent hours planting, tending, and watering. I hope you find joy there!
Or your joy may be in a room you love sitting in because the chair you chose fits you perfectly and the light comes through the window in the morning just enough to allow a few houseplants to flourish on the windowsill.
Or perhaps your joy is in a meatloaf that came out of the oven perfectly done.
Or it’s in a poem you wrote that doesn’t really rhyme but you like what it says to you.
Or maybe you found joy in a flower that finally bloomed for the first time this year and you were home to see it.
Don’t kill that joy by comparing it to what anyone else has. Don’t rush off to Instagram or Facebook and start scrolling to see how your joy compares to others.
Don’t do that. You’ll kill it. Plain and simple.
Instead, just enjoy your joy. Enjoy your garden, your room, your meatloaf, your poem, your whatever gives you joy.
Take good care of it. Admire it. Take a picture of it if you must, but not to share with others, just to remind you that you have joy in your life.
Plus, you don’t want anyone to compare your joy to their joy and thus kill their joy. Nope. No one needs that. Not in Mark Twain’s days and certainly not today.
Dee Nash says
I found a lot of joy yesterday as I planted pansies. The sun was on my back and it was nicely warm. I loved it!
Karin / Southern Meadows says
Excellent advise! I try to limit my social media time because there is so much there to kill joy! Two of my favorite places are in my garden and sunroom surrounded by plants.
I found my joy today when another Passion flower decided to bloom! Also, I found joy when I ordered 20 trout lily bulbs to plant in my woodland garden!!
That is such a profound way of commenting on how social media kills so much joy in the world. It is one quote I hadn't heard from Mark Twain's bounty .. I like it immensely !
The only social media I am on is my garden blog .. I am NOT on any of the "too many" ways to demean yourself train .. I think it has been a poison to society as a whole and it makes me very sad to know how generations have grown up on it ..
Thanks for reminding me that a simple joy can live untarnished by keeping it SIMPLE and to yourself or only with people you trust.
My joy today is that it is Autumn Equinox .. I love Autumn ! and my name is Joy ? LOL
I am finding joy making plans for all the bulbs I've ordered for this fall!
Basil Becky says
I found joy today dividing iris..I know it is late but wow how exciting to get more iris from one rhizome.