How do we measure our actions?

Yesterday, my beautiful friend and I talked about success, judging others, judging ourselves, judging ourselves compared to others. And how we strive to only measure ourselves against ourselves. After we hung up, the conversation extended the conversation: 

How can we practice a different pattern of relationships, when the world around us seems to tick according to a completely different logic? 

Because our reality seems exactly like this: We try to avoid waste while the world inundates us with stuff. We try to be mindful while the world is bombarding us with distractions. We try to encourage cooperation and togetherness, while the world around us seems to demand competition and selfishness. We strive to live modestly while our economy is based on constantly consuming more. We try to give others space, while around us only those who make themselves heard particularly loud and who pursue their own advantage at the expense of others are apparently successful. 

We wonder “This is our world, how am I supposed to change anything about it?”

We can answer “Exactly here. We avoid waste. We encourage cooperation. We live modestly. We give others space”. Because we don’t measure our actions against others. But we measure our actions against ourselves.