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
Comparisons of one’s lot with others’ teaches us nothing and enfeebles the will.
—Thornton Wilder (1897–1975) American Novelist, Playwright
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
I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.
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