30 June 2018

8th Promise of Debtors Anonymous

The 8th Promise of Debtors Anonymous states that we will cease to compare ourselves to others; jealousy and envy will fade.

When I was working my way out of debt (over $65,000) I came to believe that the more I owned than the more I was owned. I spent most of my life comparing myself to others. Sadly, not in good ways. Ways that said I was a good dad, or a good husband, or a good friend. Instead, I made comparisons to the cars we owned. Or the stereo, or swimming pool, or whatever… the material comparisons were endless… as was my jealously of what others had.

Life is so freeing when competition fades away. Since I was a child I have loved fish. Tropical fish. I can remember having different aquariums with different fish. Everyone a living community. It was better than anyone else’s that I knew at the time. Nearly 50 years later, I still have fish. On a lot smaller scale. Instead of 55 gallon (2 of them), a 30 gallon, 29, numerous 20’s and 10’s, I have a 75 gallon pond. For an aquarium it would be a rather large fish tank. For a pond, it is rather small. Inside of it are seven goldfish and a carp. Nothing exotic, just a simple family setting for our simple life.

Someone I know has an 800 gallon pond, with over 80 fish… mostly kois that are over 12 inches long. Waterfalls, numerous pumps and filters make his yard a showcase. In my old days, I’d go deep in debt, just to have a better pond than his. Nowadays I’m happy for him. In fact, maybe even excited for him. As for my little pond? I love it. It is a beautiful natural water display with small living creatures enjoying their spacious home.

It comes down to that old thought of the grass always seems greener “over there.” I’m no longer interested in what is “over there,” I love what is right here. No comparisons, no jealously, no envy… just a simple acceptance that things are OK just the way they are.

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