Horizontal Comparisons


In today's day and age, vertical comparisons are the norm. Everything is more or less of something. Specifically, people are always greater or lesser, either generally or in a particular aspect. Think of this as a ladder. The higher you are on there, the better you are as a human being. Or so we think.

We say "she's smarter than me" or "he's prettier than me", or "I'm better than then". Or whatever combination of person + greater/lesser adjective + other person. It's the natural way to think these days and we all do it.

vertical comparison

Excuse my poor drawing, but that's how it is on ladder. Not practical to say the least. All people want to do is get higher. Most of them either give up at the first step, or fall down while trying to climb too quickly. Ouch.

Vertical comparisons come from a delusional objectivity's point of view. They assume everybody can be placed on a single scale, evaluated in an absolute manner.

I wouldn't want to spend my entire life on a ladder. It's unsafe, there's no space to live, and I couldn't even lay down, rest. All I could do is constantly engage in the race to get higher. Phew, how tiring!

Now, let me introduce you to the concept of a horizontal comparison. Which, some people say is not even a comparison. I believe it is.

horizontal comparison

In this example, we use comparison as a tool to differentiate, not evaluate people. We still can see that everybody has a different spot, that everybody is different, but they're not better or worse. They're all on the same level, on the same ground. And hey, there's space for something! A house, even.

Viewing the world around us in a vertical way is a poisoned way to see things. It's unhealthy, it's painful, it's not practical. It makes life lesser by taking away the space to live, to express ourselves.

Horizontally, on the other hand, things look much less stressful, true. With space, with equality, but also with difference, all at the same time.

It's time to buy a pair of normal glasses. The vertical ones have not worked.

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