“It’s always good to get out, isn’t it?” he says. “We can always see someone worse off than we are and feel better about ourselves.”
The observation has a reflective quality, meditative in a near Zen sense, one that borders on positive acceptance, on seeking to do that which will allow one accept oneself.
I suppose too there's an element of schadenfreude, albeit to reach that point may require the same contortions as making the sentiment fit into the concept of zen.
All I know is that I've ridden around for 50 years, and that comment was a first for me.
We are a comparative species, true, often establishing our value (temporarily, at best) by calculating the value of others (appearance, wealth, social status, education, etc.) whether subconsciously, or as in this case consciously.