Monday, January 28, 2008

Why Inside Out?

I am a "ranker". No, I don't smell rank. Well, maybe I do, but that's beside the point. What I mean is, if I'm not keeping an eye on it, I have the tendency to rank and categorize everyone around me and put myself on the scale somewhere. Then I can play the "I am better than/I am worse than" game. Which is another way of saying I get to either have contempt for others or contempt for me. Either way, I get to be off the hook for seeing the person as a real person and sort of turn them into a number ("You are cooler than me, +2. I am smarter than you, -5"). Not exactly a good way to extend love to other humans.

So, as I've spent lots of time looking at this tendency (God has a funny way of bringing it up over and over again), I have gleaned little bits of insights. One of those came from a friend who said, "Just remember, you are comparing your insides to everyone else's outsides." So, when I compare, I only really know how I feel inside about things--my snobbery or insecurity--and compare it to whatever anyone else is showing outside.

And I have a choice: will I work hard to make my outsides look better to compare to everyone else or get off the ranking game, stop holding everyone at arms length and let my insides out? The right answer and the reality don't always match but I'm working on it.

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