Envy aka Jealousy, the emotion you feel when you see someone who has something you want, and get pissed off at them because of it.
The Cambridge online dictionary describes it as:
to wish that you had something that another person has.
Google’s dictionary defines it as :
- a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.
- desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable thing belonging to (someone else).
However you slice it though, it really is an ugly emotion. It’s also a very normal emotion to have every once in a while. I know that I’ve had it, especially when I see someone extremely good looking or talented or someone who is really good with people.
It begs the question why though. Why do people feel envy? The answer is simple (and fairly obvious): they (another person) have it, you don’t, but you wish you did.
A lot of people might think it’s shameful to feel that way, maybe even selfish.
“You should appreciate what you already have. Don’t start focusing on what other people have, no good will come of it.”
But personally I don’t think it’s as horrible as that. After all we’re only human not saints. Humans are inherently flawed, but being flawed doesn’t automatically mean being bad. We all want something better, something more, and comparing ourselves to others is simply the easiest way to do that. In a way, that is the positive side of envy. Some of us see what the other person has and so we strive to get it or even get something better. We work hard to fulfil ourselves, our dreams, and become better than how we are right now.
But then there’s the ugly side, like when we steal what the other person has so that we can have it. When we think that the only way to get what we want is by sacrificing the other person and their happiness.
Those are the two sides of the coin called envy. It’s up to us to flip it such so that when it lands we can see the positive wide rather than the negative.
And with that I end my last post of this series talking about the good in the seven deadly sins. I hope you liked it and found it thought provoking, I know I did. Maybe I’ll do something similar in the future, taking a philosophical concept and exploring it, taking a good look at each side.
Until the next post, I hope you have a good day.