Happy New Year to all you Deep Thinkers! We'll start 2013 not with talk of Einstein's theory, but instead with the idea of how humans have a persistent habit of measuring the worth of their lives relative to that of others around them. We've all had instances where our successes are determined by how much better we do compared to our peers. We've also been in bad situations that are ameliorated by the thought that others have it much worse.
How often do you hear about the extremely low wages in most Third World countries? Or how the starving children of Cambodia would really appreciate those french fries you're throwing away? How can this lead to both healthy outcomes (living more economically, producing less waste, etc.) and detrimental ones ("keeping up with the Jones'" and seeing life as a zero-sum game)? And is this a distinctly human trait? Lastly, I have always been amazed and/or impressed by those who seem to be able to shirk this tendency, although I suspect that everyone is tempted by this habit at some time or another.
Bring your appetites and your insight into how relativity plays a part in your life, and to what purpose.
I'm reminded of W.C. Fields' epitaph: "All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."