In season three of The Andy Griffith Show, there is an episode titled, “The Great Filling Station Robbery.” In the beginning of the show, we find Deputy Fife (as usual) trying to bring the Mayberry jail to more modern terms with technology, though it is not needed. As the episode progresses, the Filling Station has a theft problem. A troubled teen named Jimmy had just been given a job there to assist Gomer in the pile-up of cars needing to be fixed while the owner, Wally, is away. Because of his troubled past record, Jimmy is blamed for the robbery. Andy takes the calm road and waits for the next evening to see what happens; Barney, of course, sets a flawed attempt of greatness to catch the crime in action and jumps to conclusions. At the end, it is Jimmy’s knowledge in modern technology that catches the true criminal in action, proving that he was not what everyone thought he was to be.
Although Deputy Barney Fife didn’t do anything to solve the robbery, the ending minutes can make you giggle when Barney calls his gal, Juanita, at the diner. In typical Barney-ego seriousness, he recites a poem:
Juanita, Juanita…lovely, dear Juanit
From your head down to your feet,
There’s nothing half so sweet–
As Juanita, Juanita…lovely, dear Juanit.
Oh, there are things of wonder of which men like to sing.
There are pretty sunsets and birds upon the wing.
But of all the joys of nature, none truly can compare
with Juanita, Juanita…she of beauty beyond compare.
Although I don’t recite poems comparing a sweetheart to the joys in nature, I have found myself lately in a state of comparison, usually in physical terms only. I can compare myself to others placing myself above them (judgmental) or placing myself below them (insecurity). Yesterday, I did both.
Being disabled, it is easy to find yourself in this position. I wonder if any other disabled individuals can also agree to this, but personally, I find myself comparing my physical and mental state towards other disabled individuals. There is always the persons that are far worse off than yourself; sympathetic thoughts towards that individual mingle with your own thoughts of gratitude…”I’m glad that’s not me.” And it is wrong.
On the other spectrum, there are those who you may consider not as bad as what you endure, so you place yourself above them in judgement. This is my downfall. In comparing myself to others in this way, it makes my own pains seem not as heavy. And it is not so much a condemning judgement, as it is maybe more self-pity; a “I can no longer do these things, but you can…” But even this thinking is wrong.
Comparing myself to anything other than what God holds true in my life can only be “half so sweet…” and I miss the purest blessings of reaching out to those around me.