Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

January 31, 2005

Is it wrong to compare?

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 6:53 AM

Had a discussion with Surabhi today about people comparing two things. She is totally against anyone comparing anything with anything. She gets mad when people compare her looks with her friends or when people compare things in India to things else where etc.

Is it really so bad to compare? We do it all the time, is IE better that Firefox? Is Linux better than Windows? Is food at this place better than the other place? So why do some people don’t like others comparing two people? I don’t mean that you should compare someone with another person and tell him/her that the other person is so much better and that he/she is useless. We can do a positive comparision also, where both the plus points and the minus points of each person is compared. This can be done without putting down anyone.

Comparing yourself against an ideal tells you how much more effort you need to put in in order to achieve the same result. How is that bad? I think that comparing two things allows us to recognize the good points in both of them and if done the right way it generates a healthy feeling of competition between the two but if done incorrectly it can really damage someone’s self-esteem. So if you want to compare someone with another person put yourself in their shoes and think how that comment would effect you if it was directed towards you. One the other hand if you are comparing two inanimate objects you can put down the one you don’t like as much as you want. 🙂

Well this is all for now. Goodnight.

– Suramya


  1. I really like your thoughts on this. I had no idea you thought so much into it. this is great! now i can argue with you!! HEHE

    There are three different issues:

    1) I don”t like it when people compare my looks with ** and then say ” oh you look better” . I never asked them if i looked better or if she did. The underlying assumption here is that they think I care about whether i look or bad and want compliments.

    Compare this to someone coming up to you and saying ”oh, but you are smarter than X”

    Maybe this is just me talking after a lifetime’s stuggle with people judging first on looks and then on the personality.

    2) Yes, comparing against an ideal lets you improve yourself. But you comparing yourself is different from someone else doing the comparison for you with your interest and giving you his/her judgement.

    3) My issue was not that Vinit’s school was being compared to Eaton; but that it was being called “Eaton of the East”.
    This statement inherently means that Eaton is being considered as a better school. Who is to judge which school is better? Isn’t this simply the remains of the colonial rule? That we as Indians assume [and i know this is very negative, but it is true] that anyone who is in/from the west is better? And also that anyone who speaks english must be ”better” than us?

    By comparing his school to Eaton, he is saying that Eaton is the ideal his school would like to be. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? You and I both know how horrible western education is.

    I could go on for ever on the third point ‘casue i feel very strongly about it. but oh well, i will have to stop my very valued thoughts and intellectual remarks for the next time. Maybe when i become a sanyasin, you can be my Bhakt.

    Comment by subhi — February 2, 2005 @ 5:28 AM

  2. Hello!!

    I go with Surabhi…..{Sorry Suramya!!}

    The comparison sometimes goes way beyond, and people tend to be a little insulting and make one feel like a complete idiot, jerk etc.

    Comparing two schools etc is to choose the better one….One doesnt make a choice when it comes to a person…If that person is a friend, you accept them the way they are..One may want to see improvements etc and I am sure there is a better way to state that, other than making comparisons!!!!

    Sorry Suramya!!I wish i could agree with you..But i STRONGLY agree with Surabhi!!!:-)


    Comment by Soumya — February 4, 2005 @ 3:44 PM

  3. hi how are you guys??
    Its been a long time.

    Neway i couldn’t help commenting on what subhi said (Hi there subhi). There is nothing wrong in comparing one thing to other. The problem starts when you try imposing/expressing your conclusions on somebody who does not need it.

    we do comparisons 100 times a day e.g which food to eat, what to wear, which pen is good, what is the best temp of water to bathe etc.. but we do keep that choices to ourselves for our convinience.

    About the whole west is better than east you can take the argument both ways. There is a strong sentiment in a major part of india & rest of the east asia that most western countries have no culture compared to us. they were bunch of illetrates who become rich. We are far far superior to them in our moral values. Similarly a vast percentage also feel what subhi said about west is better. Here the point is not comparing west to east but comparing the two ways of thinking. As it is evident to any sane person both the point of views are ridiculous if taken totality.

    The thing here is not that making comparisons is wrong but making comparisons on the correct parameters with a certain amount on common sense. So despite agreeing with subhi disagreement on the whole “eaton of the east” (i never liked AU being called ”oxford of the east” ) i think you got it write in your conclusion.

    gotta go now but would really like to hear from you guys.
    c ya

    Comment by Shashank Tripathi — February 12, 2005 @ 11:46 AM

  4. Interesting discussion people. 🙂

    While I agree with all of you on some points still disagree with your major point. Vinit”s school was called Eaton of the east or AU was called Oxford of the East ’cause they were being compared to the best schools/universities and were found to be good enough. It is not a remanent of the colonial rule that they were compared to these particular schools, its just that these are the best schools of their kind.

    To give another example a lot of really good computer companies are sometimes compared to Microsoft or IBM and called the MS of the future. Does this mean that the new company is being degraded? I don”t think so…

    Another example are the colleges in India, most of the good colleges are compared to the IIT”s or the REC”s. Does this mean that they are being put down? You are only compared to the best in the field or the worst in the field and its your duty to get better than the best so that the future competitors are measured against the standard you set.

    Shashank: Good to finally hear from you after such a long time. Emailed you. Hope to hear back soon.

    – Suramya

    Comment by Suramya — February 23, 2005 @ 6:23 AM

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