And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. (Judges 6:14-15 KJV)
Last Sunday the sermon at church centered on the above passage, which describes Gideon and his doubt that he can succeed because he is the smallest in his family. It was about the importance of not comparing oneself to others, but instead using the strength you have. I am frequently guilty of comparing myself, whether it concerns grades, appearance, friendships, or career success. I know that I often feel better or worse about myself depending on how I compare with the people around me. These past couple of weeks, I have thought (or worried) about whether or not I will be a good teacher this year compared to the others. I am the youngest teacher currently at the school, and probably the least experienced, since I am one of few without an education degree. In addition to that I worry about my career path in general; I don’t want to be a teacher long-term, which is very different from most of the other employees.
I am content with the fact that this Kentucky Redwings hat looks better on Loic.
But instead of comparing ourselves to others, we have to be the best we can be, because if we are confident in ourselves, we have no need to compete with other people. I should not worry that I am the least experienced; I should concentrate on being the best teacher I can, and improve from there. What matters is that I chose this path because I was confident that I wanted to go to Morocco, to work with a diverse group of people, to gain experience as a leader and teacher, to have a positive first work experience, and to increase my language skills. What other people choose to do is certainly interesting to me, but I should be confident enough in myself that I do not resort to comparing. Maybe that Kentucky Redwings hat isn’t my style, but I should remember that I have had quite a bit of success when it comes to modeling my mother’s knit hats.