Reflections

12

October

2018

12th October 2018

Recent Reflection Articles

PhoboPhobia

The world has its dangers and we need to be careful but the earth is an amazing and wonderful place with so much to experience and explore.

Walking Through a Spider’s Web

Whether it is a harmless spider web or a truly fearful event in our lives, having a better understanding of our natural responses can help us better face the situation and minimize its impact on us and our children.

The Awesomeness of Go

As we journey through the pandemic, it will continue to be hard, but we will have small awesome things happen every day. The key is that we take the time to acknowledge them.

Here Be Dragons

We will continue to fear the unknown. There will always be dragons on our maps and in our minds, but learning how to slay the dragons can be a life skill for us to teach our children and ourselves.

We will never be fully content and joyful until we stop comparing ourselves to others. So how do we stop this comparison treadwheel we are on?

We have spent the last couple weeks looking at the acronym SAIL which is being used to this year to remind our staff and students of actions we should be taking to encourage and enhance the community of Dalat. The first letter, S, stands for “Stop the Complaining”. The second letter, A, stands for “Assume the Best”. The third letter, I, which is the one we are focusing on this week, stands for “Ignore the Comparisons.”

Teddy Roosevelt, former U.S. president, made the wise observation “that comparison is the thief of joy.” I am sure we have all experienced this at one point in our lives. We are happy with something, but then we look around and compare it to something or someone else, the joy dissipates. How often have we been content in a situation only to lose that contentment because we begin to make comparisons with others? It can be about so many different aspects of our lives – wealth, career success, social status, body image, house and possessions, parenting ability, godliness, intelligence, abilities – just about anything in life.

Unfortunately this is happening so much more in today’s world. The advertising industry feeds on this human characteristic and uses it to amplify our fears and steal our joy to sell more products. Add to that social media, which has made comparisons a way of life and constant part of our daily life, and it is no wonder that anxiety, stress, and depression are at all-time high for our teenagers.

Ultimately comparisons are destructive to us and those around us in numerous ways. We will never be fully content and joyful until we stop comparing ourselves to others. So how do we stop this comparison treadwheel we are on?

  • An important step in today’s world is to control your social media diet. It is simply a fact that the less time you spend on social media the happier you are.
  • Stop comparing your weaknesses to other’s people’s strengths. The ironic thing is that they are comparing their weaknesses to your strengths and both of you are unhappy and discouraged.
  • Develop the habit of gratitude in your life. It is something that can be developed and become a habit in your life. Being grateful for what you have and who you are is the perfect antidote to the destructive trap of comparison.

As with many other aspects of life we have studied together, the general default setting is for us to actively and regularly play the comparison game. If we are going to truly be content and experience joy in our lives, we simply need to stop playing the game. Take your ball and walk away, and as you do, a smile will spread across your face.

Written by Karl Steinkamp

Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Head of School since 2006.
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Recent Reflection Articles

PhoboPhobia

The world has its dangers and we need to be careful but the earth is an amazing and wonderful place with so much to experience and explore.

Walking Through a Spider’s Web

Whether it is a harmless spider web or a truly fearful event in our lives, having a better understanding of our natural responses can help us better face the situation and minimize its impact on us and our children.

The Awesomeness of Go

As we journey through the pandemic, it will continue to be hard, but we will have small awesome things happen every day. The key is that we take the time to acknowledge them.

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