It seems that even in biblical times parents were trying to best each other with bumper stickers

What do you think it is about us that wants to out do each other? Is it simply pride? Maybe a bumper sticker bragging about your kid is not all that bad? Guess it depends on the child and how they respond to this kind of pressure? I guess the question involves motivation. Of course I have never been a bumper sticker kind of guy.

The dictionary defines one-upsmanship as the art or practice of outdoing or keeping one jump ahead of a friend or competitor.

Interesting how it says the art or practice - does seem that some of us take it to something resembling a dark art. I recall many times when one-upsmanship has gotten the best of me.. and sometimes it has involved my children.. not sure why I saw their achievements as an extension of mine? I remember a time when I lied to an ex-coworker about my achievements at my new job.. so sad what I am capable of.. it seems that this kind of attitude can take me to some darks places.

Years ago there was this "keeping up with the Joneses" phrase that was popular.. if I you bought a 19" TV then I had to buy a 21" one just to one-up you.. sad how that whole thing morphed into something as bizarre as the things we see these days. Sadly this type of stuff can bleed into things like our pain.. not sure that I have ever said it out loud but I have sometimes thought "That's nothing.. let me tell you about my pain" when someone was sharing their pain with me. It is sad because this kind of one-upsmanship shuts down compassion and hinders our empathy for the one in pain.

I don't want to be a one-upper any more. I hope that you don't either.


  1. Love the cartoon!

    I know what you mean about the pain. There truly is a fine line between sympathetically sharing your tale of pain or tragedy and narcissism. Of course, even with good intentions your actions can be viewed otherwise.

    Good thoughts, as always, Bob. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Funny cartoon!

    I did see a bumper sticker that said " My kid is not an Honor Student, but he's a fantastic kid."

    We are prone to toot our own horns, especially when it comes to our kids and grandkids. Just ask any grandma if she has A picture, and she'll bring out the albums...

    Good article, and lots to consider.

  3. I think there's a need to feel important or noticed for some reason. I know I like that feeling though I try hard not to do the one-upsmanship thing. Honestly I don't feel the need like I once did because it's kind of draining and my late wife never got into that. Don't mean to one-upsmanship anyone in that regard...but it's true.

    That's my 2 cents, KB.

  4. I actually dislike the cartoon. Having read Mary's Manificant and her interaction with her Son I don't Mary would have ever considered such an action. Having said that...

    Pride is so deeply rooted in our nature that it all to "natural" to one to be the one upper. But as you state, we must stive by God's grace and Spirit to be humble, the least of all, and to not think more highly of ourselves than we should. Yes, easier said than done. I strive daily to die to self in order to be a bondslave of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Good Post! (Except for the cartoon)


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