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Posts tagged "comparison"


Keep Watch, Dear Lord: Life Behind “The Neighbors’ Window”

The beauty of the short film is that it can provide the same amount of catharsis of a full-length movie while demanding far less of a time commitment. At this point in my life, it feels as if the genre exists solely for parents of young children, for those of us who can fall asleep […]

Pressing the Mute Button Underwater

I’m just old enough to remember Greg Louganis’ dive in the 1988 Olympics, when he cracked his head on the diving platform and suffered a concussion. I’m too chicken to google it, but, given the speed that divers exit the platform and the proximity of their skulls to the hard surface, Greg Louganis can’t be […]

From The Atlantic: Are McMansions Making People Any Happier?

Apple’s magazine and news service, Apple News+, served me up another parable of the little-L law from The Atlantic last week as I perused my News app. It’s a classic, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses type report about how we Americans are building bigger homes than everand yet our happiness tends to be inversely proportionate to the square footage of our new real estate. As usual, the dynamics of comparison, judgment, and self-salvation (AKA self-justification) are at play. A couple of takeaway quotes (emphasis mine):

To be clear, having more space does generally lead to people saying they’re more pleased with their home. The problem is that the satisfaction often doesn’t last if even bigger homes pop up nearby. “If I bought a house to feel like I’m ‘the king of my neighborhood,’ but a new king arises, it makes me feel very bad about my house,” Bellet wrote to me in an email. […]

Bellet sketches out an unfulfilling cycle of one-upmanship, in which the owners of the biggest homes are most satisfied if their home remains among the biggest, and those who rank right below them grow less satisfied as their dwelling looks ever more measly by comparison.

The Flabbiness of Grace; or, How I Found the Gospel at a Pure Barre Class

On a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon I ventured out of the warmth and safety of my home and headed out with two friends to a new destination. Upon arrival, we were greeted by name-tagged women with perfectly made-up hair and faces, who swiftly presented us with goodie bags, carefully tied with colorful ribbon. We checked […]