Apples and oranges

We don’t compare apples with oranges.

But we compare people all the time. We compare siblings, cousins, classmates, peers, and colleagues, nudging them to be better and scaring them about falling behind.

Isn’t it absurd that we respect the uniqueness of fruit, but treat different people all the same?

2 thoughts on “Apples and oranges

  1. Hey Anupam, Wish you a happy new year! 🙂

    Worth considering: – What are times when it does make sense to compare apples and oranges? (for example, for someone relying on fruit for a meal, which is more nutritious, etc)

    We should compare people when it makes sense I think. But need to learn when we should compare and when we shouldn’t. Thanks for sharing!


    1. Hey Kumar – great to hear from you again after a long time! Wish you a fantastic 2023 as well 🙂

      As for comparison, I subscribe to the Kantian maxim of treating people as an end in themselves, and never as a means to an end. Therefore, I am against comparisons between people as a whole, since such comparison, by definition, fails to treat people as an end in themselves.

      It does, however, make sense to compare certain aspects related to people. Physical attributes, athletic performance, productivity and so on can be compared in certain situations – such as comparing a person’s size for T-shirt sizes. As you point it, it is important to draw a distinction and compare with care.


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