THE EVIL OF ENVY
July 16, 2020
Envy (from Latin invidia) is an emotion which “occurs when a person lacks another’s superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it”. Aristotle defined envy as pain at the sight of another’s good fortune, stirred by “those who have what we ought to have.” Wikipedia. Envy is also a feeling of discontent and ill will because of another’s advantages, possessions, etc.; resentful dislike of another who has something that one desires.”
PROS AND CONS OF LIFE
Life keeps unfolding things we want to believe, likewise things we do not want to believe. The more we observe life, the more we see pros and cons of life. The more we review the events of life, the more we believe what we ought not to believe.
The evil of envy cannot be over-emphasized. It flashes through someone’s heart as very insignificant thought. If the thought prevails in someone’s mind more than necessary, it will become cancerous. It will not stop spreading until it consumes the victim. Envy not curtail will make someone to commit unimaginable evil. It is natural for every man to envy others because it deeply ingrained in human nature. But you must purge it out of your heart immediately such thought comes into your heart, before it beclouds your right thinking and lures you to commit unimaginable evil. Never fall into that trap!
Cain murdered his brother because of envy. Cain and Abel offered their sacrifices to God. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice because he offered the best sacrifice, but rejected Cain’s sacrifice because of his attitude not to give God the very best sacrifice. What God was expecting from Cain was to have a change of attitude. But the acceptance of his brother’s sacrifice at the expense of his own enkindled bitterness in him against his brother. God told him that if he had done what was right, he will have peace in his heart. But if he has such thought against his brother for doing the right thing, sin is crouching at the door. God warned Cain specifically that the sin was about to dominate him but he must subdue it. Cain never subdued the sin in him and he eventually committed unimaginable evil Genesis 4:4-7. His inability to purge it out of his heart pushed him to commit murder.
Bertrand Russell said that envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness. Not only is the envious person rendered unhappy by their envy, Russell argued, but that person may also wish to inflict misfortune on others to reduce their status. Mr Horace said: “The envious man grows lean at the success of his neighbour.” Envy is like a fly that passes all the body’s sounder parts, and dwells upon the sores.
YOUR BEST IS IN YOUR POTENTIALS
Potential generally refers to a currently unrealized ability. The term is used in a wide variety of fields, from physics to the social sciences to indicate things that are in a state where they are able to change in ways ranging from the simple release of energy by objects to the realization of abilities in people (Wikipedia).
THE ROOT OF ENVY:
Envy is caused by a dissatisfaction with self-image—your perception of your actual stature. This dissatisfaction is also called low self-esteem—a poor self-appraisal of your actual stature. Because you feel inferior to the person you envy. Others causes include: comparison to others; pride; seeking significant or low self-esteem and desire for worldly gain.
HOW TO CURTAIL ENVY:
- Shift your focus to the goodness in your life:
One of the biggest reasons we envy others is because we focus our attentions on things we do not have at the expense of what we have. You need to look inward and see the best in you. You are who you are. You are talented; you are gifted; you are unique. Your life is too valuable to be lived like everyone else. You have countless reasons to be grateful for the life you live.
- Stop comparing your life with others:
It is always a losing proposition. There will always appear to be people who have it better than you. Stop comparing your life with others. But remember, we always compare the worst of what we know about ourselves to the best assumptions we make about others. Be reminded, nobody has it all. Each person you meet experiences problems, trials, and weaknesses–just like you. This is what makes us human. Nobody is exempt. Nobody has it all.
- Avoid people who habitually value the wrong things:
If you spend all your time with people who compare the latest fashions, you are going to start desiring the latest fashions. If you spend all your time with people who talk about their salaries, their new cars, or their extravagant vacations, you are going to naturally fall into the inevitable trap of comparing your possessions to theirs. But there are far more important things to pursue. Remove yourself from the conversation (and the relationship if necessary).
- Spend time with grateful people. Gratitude is highly contagious, that is why you must spend your time with people who are always of joyful in every situation and circumstance of life. Find grateful people who experience contentment in their lives and spend quality time with them. You can find them online or you can find them in person. But the more you invest your time with them, the more their spirit will become yours. Sooner or later, others will desire what you have.
- Celebrate the success of others:
Genuinely and practically, rejoice in the fortune of others. When somebody receives something that you desire, be happy for them. If you wanted it, they probably did too. Stop viewing life as a competition. Joy is not a finite resource. And the moment you learn to experience happiness in others’ joy is the day you take a huge step to overcoming envy once and for all.
- Be generous:
Even if you have to force yourself into it at first, make generosity an essential habit in your life. Give your time. Give your finances. Give your abilities, talents, and skills. Volunteer in your community. Support a cause that promotes social justice. As you begin to spend more time and more energy with those who have less than you, the more you will find fulfilment and meaning. And when you do, the allure of another’s person life will quickly fade away.
GREAT SUCCESS AFTER MOMENTS OF FAILURE
Oftentimes, many people experience recurring failure to the extent that people have tagged them to be a failure. This makes many people to bury their heads in shame.
We must break loose from the bondage of envy. It has held us hostage for far too long. It is time, once and for all, to break free envy and experience a more fulfilled life because of it. Let your life be free from bitterness, life is too beautiful.
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