I look at what I have not and think myself unhappy; others look at what I have and think me happy.
—Philibert Joseph Roux (1780–1854) French Surgeon
Comparisons are odious.
—Robert Burton (1577–1640) English Scholar, Clergyman
Comparisons of one’s lot with others’ teaches us nothing and enfeebles the will.
—Thornton Wilder (1897–1975) American Novelist, Playwright
Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.
Comparison, more than reality, makes men happy or wretched.
—Thomas Fuller (1608–61) English Cleric, Historian
I never admired another’s fortune so much that I became dissatisfied with my own.
—Cicero (106BCE–43BCE) Roman Philosopher, Orator, Politician, Lawyer
The man with toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound. The poverty stricken man makes the same mistake about the rich man.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
If one only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier than other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are.
—Montesquieu (1689–1755) French Political Philosopher, Jurist