My Brother’s Machine

Have you ever found  yourself  (even when you know better) comparing your life to someone else, say one of your siblings, a cousin or a high school classmate?

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I am not chasing after the Almighty Dollar.  I’m not motivated by materialism or greed.

(At least I don’t think I am.)

When it comes to money and wealth my mantra could best be summed up by this verse:

“Keep your life free from the love of money and be content with what you have…”

I know better than to go down that path in my head, but it happened again this  morning anyway.  I needed to drop some scaffolding off at my brothers construction site.  As I pulled up to the building, there  sat my brothers $25,000 Bobcat skid loader and my uncles $35,000 material lift.  (I own nothing like either one of these machines.  If I need a skid loader (or a lift,) I will call the rental store and get one for the week to the tune of $850.00. (Honestly, I need those pieces of equipment  three or four times a year, and it doesn’t make sense for me to have my own.  By the time I would tack on  maintenance, repairs,  a trailer to haul them, and a truck large enough to tow said trailer, it is a no- brainer.

In spite of what I just told you,  When I looked at those two pieces of equipment,  a dark, heavy, oppressive  cloud of sadness passed through my mind.

It wasn’t just a fleeting thing so I stopped and tried to identify what I was thinking (feeling)

It took me a minute to put into words the “what and why”  behind the sad, dark, negative emotions.”

Here is what I discovered:

I secretly  equate having my own personal $25,000 Bobcat with being a successful business man.  And the fact I don’t own either stirs up thoughts of failure and shame.

I am not the only person who secretly wrestles with this comparison “war.}

(Initially, I was going to call it the “comparison game” but it doesn’t feel like a game/ it’s more like hand to hand mental combat… hence  the word “war”)

I know a young man, who battles the same issues ( different specifics) because he has a younger brother who makes more money than him… a lot more.  Waves of inferiority periodically washed over his soul as well, but he would never, ever, admit it.

I suspect, this inner poverty fuels many of his life choices.

The main purpose I’m writing about this one today is  for little old me. 🙂

I want to bring the little thoughts into the open….

and kill them. 🙂

Dark, negative, things tend to loose  their power over me when they are exposed and named.


14 thoughts on “My Brother’s Machine

  1. I look at this as being similar to a problem shared is a problem halved.
    Being analytical, why waste those extra bucks on something that will only be collecting dust/rust for 11 months of the year? You have no worries of repayments to upkeep or maintenance either. Nice to have, but a must have? Maybe not. Just a thought. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s why I’ve never owned a boat, a river cabin, a beach house, or a mountain lodge. Even if I had the money to buy one of those — or all of them at once — I wouldn’t. Daddy taught me a pretty good lesson: buy your necessities, rent your fun. Or your skid loader. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like how you still call him Daddy! Your comment made me smile 🙂 That’s a great way to put it…”rent your fun.” My eldest is 35 and she still call me “papa”


  3. I love this, DM! Many of us associate “stuff” with success — as I’ve matured I’ve started letting go and learned that doing so brings me great joy. Example: as an executive I “should” have a new/snazzy/high end car. I have a 4 year old Jeep with 74k miles on it that runs great and- bonus – is paid off. I no longer care about those trademark badges of “success” but I really get what you’re saying here.

    And you’re right – when you drag those whispers out into the light – like a vampire – they tend to shrivel and die!

    😀 MJ

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My respect for you just went up another notch MJ, 🙂 as you’ve told me about the why behind your choice of work vehicle. Who in your life would have influenced you to have that kind of thinking?


  5. By renting equipment that you only need on occasion you are being fiscally responsible plus saving your valuable time having to maintain it. You are working smarter not harder. That spells success. You won’t have to work all of those extra hours to pay for an expensive machine either.
    Let the dark, negative thoughts go – you already have something much more valuable than a bobcat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • that sounds great! 🙂 Referring to the last sentence only….(what do I have more valuable than a bobcat?) I think I know what you mean, but want to hear it from you.


  6. For me it’s not owning material things that I compare, since I am not interested in material things all that much. I find myself feeing inadequate when I look at someone else with a skill that I envy. Intellectually I understand the work, practice, and mistakes that went into developing that skill, but emotionally I still end up feeling inadequate. Does that even make sense?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As long as I stay here on our farm I rarely feel any desire for new stuff. But if I drive by another farm and see the farmer equivalent of your Bobcat (most often these days a stock trailer) I sometimes feel that little pang of jealousy, followed usually by an awareness of how stupid that is. I’m convinced that many, if not most, of what’s wrong with our society can be traced back to envy, and the fact that we live in a culture that is driven by it. Good post.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I like the honesty in this post. We all as humans feel these dark, negative feelings. To try and deny them or ignore them isn’t necessarily the most helpful. “So I stopped and tried to identify what I was feeling (thinking)”…THAT is the key!

    Liked by 1 person

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