“Heartening of the Arteries”

This was inspired in part by a glimmer of insight I had while reading Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Emerson’s Essays.” In it he talks about the human flaw of trying to please and appease others.

He says that “imitation is suicide.” I think in today’s media-driven world, we are constantly comparing ourselves to each other. We must have a bigger car, a bigger house, a bigger bust, a bigger, and well, you get the picture.

Emerson has clearly predicted the many challenges that society continues to face as we seek approval from others by imitation and comparison. Imitation and comparison is a dead-end game you just can’t win.

Suicide by Comparison

When I see someone much better than me,
There’s something you should know,
I put them on a pedestal,
And take a step below.

When I see someone who really shines,
And everyone’s in awe,
I feel the envy, wince with pain,
And draw the shortest straw.

When I see someone that does it right,
And seems to have it all,
I die a little deep inside,
And feel so very small.

When I see someone with so much skill,
As blessed from head to toe,
I give up all my power,
My ego’s in control.

When I see someone much better than me,
I really should not care,
Suicide by comparison,
Is really not that rare.

When I see someone with gifts galore,
I need to let it be,
And recognize my gifts within,
And be impressed with… me.

Steve Dahl

Copyright 2017
Art by Dahl