Now, according to Wikipedia, envy, like greed, can be characterised as an insatiable desire. They vary, however on two counts:
- Firstly, greed is largely associated with material goods, whereas envy may be more general;
- Secondly, those who commit the sin of envy, not only resent that another person has something they perceive themselves as lacking, but also wish the other person to be deprived of it.
Now we all get envious, to varying degrees, pretty much every day.
You see someone and think “Wow! What fab hair, wish my hair was like that.”, or “that woman looks amazing so quickly after giving birth, I wish I knew her secret!”, and one for the lads “nice car! Bet he pulls the birds in that!”
Yes, this is theoretically committing the sin of envy, but it is very light-hearted, with no animosity or malice. We just wish our hair could look good, not that we wish the other person’s hair didn’t.
But, what if we let that envy eat us up? What happens when we let the green-eyed monster get larger?
Imagine a sulky child, not being able to get what he/she wants at the toy shop. What do they all cry out?
Yes, that’s right. “It’s not fair!”
I want does not equal I get!
Something SC knows. He knows that I want never gets – but he is that cute, he then rephrases it with “I would like”, and when he says “it’s not fair!” I give him a cuddle and remind him that life, unfortunately is not fair, and we have to learn to deal with it. This happens, usually after he’s lost a game we’ve been playing!
But we are not an eternal child (we wish we could be, but we are not). So when something happens that we feel is unfair – we don’t get that big promotion, Hollywood doesn’t come a-calling, we get sidelined for a younger model, etc, etc, etc, what do we do?
We can stamp and shout about how it isn’t fair, dissect the situation in the minutest detail to work out why we were not the chosen one, and keep going on, and on, and on about it to everyone and anyone we meet. Not only griping about what a big mistake it was, because we are so much better, but that the other person is rubbish and not ‘fit for purpose’, so to speak.
Is that going to get us sympathy? Is that going to get us what we want?
We might get sympathy initially. But the constant harping and snide comments will win us no friends in the end. And more importantly, the situation will not change. We will still not have the promotion, glittering career, or man/woman back!
We will be left with nothing!
So how do we stop the green-eyed monster from rearing its ugly head in the first place?
OK. we can have a little cry and a moan, and maybe a little petulant stamp of the foot. Hurt pride takes a while to heal and we wouldn’t be human if it didn’t hurt, just a little.
But we have to remind ourselves that it isn’t the end of the world. It was clearly not meant to be.
Time heals, is a very true saying. And yes, we may be hurting inside every time we see the person that got the job, or the person that got the man/girl. But if we keep our own counsel we will not let the green-eyed monster win and will not lose the respect of others.