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I promise you, we each have our own groups of people that we need to look at, and believe that they are somehow better than we are.

I mean, if we can’t see at least some people as better than us, then there is really no way for us to see other people as lesser than us, is there. It just wouldn’t work.

And most of us, for some bilious reason have a need to see ourselves as better than others. And because of that, we have a need to see the makeup of other people before we ever see the people at all.

We have a need to see the sordidly obese person, the intolerantly religious person, the too flamboyantly gay person, the too loud or the too quiet person.

The person who’s too out of control. The person who’s too prudish. The person who drinks too much. The person who’s too conservative.

The person who doesn’t know how to dress. The person who isn’t covering enough of herself up. The person who spends too much time away from his family. The person who is too over-bearing with those in his care.

The person who yells too much. The person who’s too much of a doormat. The person who whines too much. The person who’s far too independent.

The person who’s too slutty. The person who has no idea how to have fun.

Should I go on?

Okay.

The person who works a job that proves his lesser intellect. The person whose overpaying job proves what an egotistical money grubber he is.

The person who can’t break an addiction. The person who will never try anything new. The person who is obsessed with porn. The person who ruins all the fun. The person who lives too much in her yesterday. The person who lives too much in his tomorrow.

The person who was laid-off for a damn good reason. The person who was hired or promoted for a damn bad reason.

The bad driver. The bad cook. The bad server. The bad attendant.

The cheap friend. The lousy friend. The friend that can never seem to get her priorities straight.

The family member who mooches too much. The family member who is too self-absorbed. The family member who never helps. The family member who is no longer walking God’s path.

The person with the bad attitude. The person who’s obviously faking her optimism.

Should I go on?

Okay.

But only because I think it’s so important that we all realize just how often we do this.

We have a need to see the person who spends too much time watching TV. The person who spends too much time on the computer. The person who spends too much time on his hobbies. The person who spends too much time at work.

The person who is too responsive. The person who is too apathetic. The person who cries too much. The person who needs to quit attempting to be so strong.

The person who doesn’t spend enough time making herself beautiful. The person who spends way too much time making herself beautiful.

The person who really should buy a better car. The person who has no business driving a car that nice. The person in debt. The person with too much money. The person who’s too busy beating the Jones and the person who is bringing down the value of the neighborhood because he hasn’t cut his lawn in three weeks.

The wife who nags too much. The husband who is too indolent. The child who is too disrespectful and apathetic. The parent who is too stringent.

And while I mentioned religion briefly above, I think we can do a lot better than that. Both for the religious and the non-religious. After all, the separation between those on both sides has caused more divide than any other single consideration in history. I think we all can agree on that.

And in our own quest to be better than others, those inside of religion often need to see the person who is too sinful. The person who is too prideful. The person who is too dishonest. The person who isn’t devoted enough to her God. The person who is too immoral. The person who is too self-righteous. The person who takes devotion to God too far.

We see the person who doesn’t give enough, who doesn’t serve enough, and who doesn’t believe enough. We see the person who doesn’t sing loud enough. The person who doesn’t pray long enough. And the person who doesn’t know the written word well enough.

We see the person who is struggling to believe. We see the person that is a relentless threat to our own spirituality. We see the person who is a threat to the faithfulness of our spouses or the nonphysical development of our children.

We see the person who is full of light. We see the person who is full of darkness.

We see people who are the very foundation of what will destroy society and what will eventually destroy mankind.

And we shout out to our non-religious counterparts and to all the world. “I love you, unless you’re not of my faith. I love you, unless you’re a sinner. I love you, unless you’re whatever I don’t believe you should be.” And once we’ve yelled it, we feel better.

And those of us outside of religion often see all of that, and we use it as our tool to somehow make ourselves better than those who we fear might be better than us. We use it as a crutch to keep from having to believe that we might actually be equals with such folk. We use it as an excuse to not have to love all people.

Because, remember, almost all of us have some need to be better than others.

And so we look at our religious opposites, and we pinpoint everything they do that isn’t good enough. We have a need to see the person who is too judgmental. The person who is too condemning. The person who is too strict in his observance of others.

We see the person who is blinded by what we believe are stupid and false teachings. We see the person who is controlling and manipulative of his audience. We see the person who holds onto what we say are obviously untruthful traditions. We see the person who surely can’t believe and who only believes because of external pressures.

We see the person who uses religion to get her way. We see the person who uses religion to further enable his own sorry situation.

We see the person who is a threat to our country and to our democracy. We see the person who is a threat to our children.

We see people who are the very foundation of what will destroy society and what will eventually destroy mankind.

And we shout out to our religious counterparts and to all the world. “I love you, unless you’re Christian. I love you, unless you’re religious. I love you, unless you’re whatever I don’t believe you should be.” And once we’ve yelled it, we feel better.

And those of us inside of religion often see all of that, and we use it as our tool to somehow make ourselves better than those who we fear might be better than us. We use it as a crutch to keep from having to believe that we might actually be equals with such folk. We use it as an excuse to not have to love all people.

Because, remember, almost all of us have some need to be better than others.

God.

Why don’t we get it? Why is it that so often I don’t get it?

Every single difference that I listed above… Every single person that I listed above is an example from my own life. They are all thoughts that I myself have had when I first have laid eyes on or watched other people.

Inside of religion.

Outside of religion.

It hasn’t mattered.

In the past and far too often in the present, I’ve somehow not seen the people around me at all. I’ve just seen thousands of different ways to compare myself to the many souls who cross my path, in order to gauge if I myself am rubbish or not. To gauge if I myself am valuable as a human being or not.

And chances are you do it, too. And chances are every person who reads this post… they do it too. All of us. We all do it. To some degree at least.

We don’t see people.

We see ways to compare.

Nothing else.

And that sucks.

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!