Look in the Mirror…That is Your Competition

Dear Reader:

After all the fun we have had commiserating over our ‘cardinal’ problems… resulting in a unified chorus of “Never more” (like Mike suggested) I got some sad news from Patty Knight yesterday. She found their little red bird dead…defeated by the enemy in the mirror…defeated, unknowingly, by himself.

Poor little bird…Mother Nature steered him wrong…he was just trying so hard to defend the nest from the “enemy” at large. He just didn’t comprehend that he was that enemy in the mirror…much like this adorable baby in the ad.

After Patty told me what happened to their cardinal I went and covered the mirror with a potholder!

It was 1971 when Pogo said his famous words “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Truer words were never spoken. Aren’t we all sometimes our own worst enemies….fretting about being too heavy, or too thin, or critical of our nose, mouth, hair, build, etc. We are rarely happy when we compare ourselves to others who we deem more beautiful.


Yet, if we could see what God sees when He watches us…it would be perfection…because He created us to be so. An example of how misguided we can be in assessing our own looks is time.

We all remember the insecure adolescent within us….who was never happy with his/her appearance. Yet, now, when we pull out the old scrapbooks and look back on that same time period…we have to laugh. Our memory of our self-perceived looks (during this time) don’t match the smiling face of youth in all its glory now.

Why in the world did I think I was too big or little back then?…I was just a normal size…a handsome young man or pretty girl misguided by the veils over his/her eyes while watching the mirror’s reflection.

Our problem…we couldn’t see ourselves for who we were for comparing ourselves to others. If God had wanted all of us to look alike…I feel sure He could have made a large cookie cutter and just put us all on an assembly line turning out all the same.

God loves diversity…that is why He filled His Earth with animals of all kinds and people of all colors and characteristics. What a boring world this would be if we were all alike.

When will we ever learn to value our own worth and not compare ourselves to others? If we insist on comparison in our lives…then we should compare ourselves now to the person we want to be in this world…the legacy we want to leave behind. We should be continuously looking for ways to improve ourselves to be the person God intended us to be.

Mirrors should be for pep talks, God talks, not shrugs of indifference, or hostile outbursts at our misconstrued perceptions.


Theodore Roosevelt, a president known for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, is quoted as saying:

Comparison is the thief of joy.

The problem, we have, in comparing ourselves to others, is that most of the time we are comparing personal time periods. We think we should be able to do things our favorite mentors did later in life…after experiencing failures and picking themselves back up and getting back in the game of life. For example:

  • Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star in 1919 because, his editor said, he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
  • Oprah Winfrey was fired as an evening news reporter because she couldn’t keep her emotions from her stories.
  • Elvis Presley was told by the concert hall manager at the Grand Ole Opry that he was better off returning to Memphis and driving trucks.
  • Henry Ford went broke five times with his early businesses which all failed.
  • Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four, and couldn’t read until he was seven.
  • …………………………………………….

So until tomorrow…God doesn’t compare us to others so why do we? God made each of us perfect in His image and loves us for who we are…with all our strengths and weaknesses. Be kind to yourself…You are loved for being you!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Look in the Mirror…That is Your Competition

  1. ambikasur says:

    Just what I needed today Becky… A certain matter was bothering me for a long time… it is related to comparison… But i guess, all things happen for good to those Who love God… And everything happens in His precious time… Hope you all are doing good… Take care


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Oh Ambika! I am so thrilled to hear from you. It has been a long time. I am always humbled when a particular subject reaches out and touches someone else too. Ambika, never forget… you are an amazing person…and my hope is that one day we will meet…and we will!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dee says:

    Becky, Today we reflected on the “cardinal” and our shared bantering of experiences with Mr. “red bird.” Our cardinal in residence has been irritating, obtrusive, and invasive indeed, but…Patty’s report to you regarding her cardinal’s sudden demise was truly upsetting. I kid you not! The cardinal IS a beautiful bird and simply exhibits the behavior Nature intended for him. And, Yes, we were saddened to learn that the cardinal family had lost its loyal, fierce protector.

    Reading your post today about the mirror brought back a memory to me of yesteryear! Some years ago, a teacher for our Adult Sunday School Class shared this comment with all of us: “We all tend to compare our insides with the outsides of others.” His remark has always stuck with me, because…When I look into a mirror, I see not only a mere reflection of myself; I can also see “inside” me. But, I cannot see “inside” others. Sometimes, I need to remind myself of that. Amen! Dee


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