Madison, thanks for this article. As much as we know comparison to be the thief of joy, we do it anyways and sometimes can’t stop ourselves from doing so. The members of my teaching cohort and I got the opportunity to interview for the jobs we wanted in Baltimore City as secondary English teachers. They selected us to interview for from the same pool, and people in my cohort are incredibly close so we tell each other in a group chat whenever we have something like this going on.

Well, short story short, me and this other guy get an interview for the same job we wanted, and he got it, and I didn’t. There was a sting of jealousy to start, but realizing that our bonds were stronger than that and that the teaching position was in good hands made me happy for him. We had guaranteed placement anyways, so it wasn’t like I was out of work, but knowing that the kids had a perfectly competent teacher in my friend allowed me to take a step back and be happy for him, the kids, and know that the city was going to be in a better place.

It’s funny we were able to handle it this way when we were in the same industry, and just having it be something service-oriented like teaching allowed us to maintain that perspective and have a force stronger than jealousy.

Written by

Believer, Baltimore City special ed teacher, and 2:40 marathon runner. Diehard fan of “The Wire,” God’s gift to the Earth. E-mail:

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