Chapter 5.4 Envy


Envy is the ulcer of the soul.”
Socrates (470 BC-399BC) Ancient Greek Philospher

Envy, of course, feeds the worthless side of self.  Wishing that you had better or more, isn’t necessarily bad, if you set goals to improve your standing in life and work towards achieving them.  Envy creates victims … something or someone has kept a person from being that which they envy.  Hellooo?  I wonder who that someone might be?

Never be bullied into silence.  Never allow yourself to be made a victim.  Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”
Harvey S. Firestone (1868-1938), Businessman

Let’s digress a little here and discuss victimization, a very sensitive topic.  It’s a little touchy to tell someone that they are a victim.  I can say that I learned rather quick that this tack just doesn’t work … big time defensiveness on their part, and probably condescending egotism on mine. This just doesn’t work.

Victims are the recipients of bad luck, bad acquaintances, bad karma.  In some way they have set themselves up to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Victims have given up their control of their lives.

If it’s never our fault, we can’t take responsibility for it.  If we can’t take responsibility for it, we’ll always be its victim.”
Richard Bach American Author

Telling someone that he/she is a victim really is tough.  I am a believer that in a purest sense, when we feel that we have become victims, it has usually been created by something that we could have prevented … note: I say usually. Almost all of the time, we have become victims due to decisions (or lack of) that we have made. Of course, seeing the warnings that we may becoming a victim often takes 20/20 vision in the future, something of which we are much, much better when we look backward.

There is nothing that I can do about what is in the rearview mirror, and if I go fast, that which is behind me will disappear more rapidly.”
Colin Powell U.S. Army General, Secretary of State

Once a person realizes, and accepts, that you have made the choices that have led you right to this place at this time, the negative cloud begins to dissipate a bit.  You can wallow in self-pity or you can set up a strategy for change. We must take responsibility for our lives.  There will be many things that cannot be changed.  Let go of them!  Do the best with what you have and try to feel good about your life process.

Of course this victim theory blows up in smoke for the thousands of people in Africa, southeast Asia, and other regions of the world that fight daily for survival.  It’s hard to say that those people are not truly victims.  Their lifetime is a challenge, a Well of Hell.   They need a rope from others, and the strength to pull themselves up.

Could it be that poverty is a rehab center for past life slip-ups along our journey to enlightenment?  Is it one of the prerequisite learnings to move to the next step?  I don’t know.  One thing is for sure, poverty is expanding.  These souls need help from those of us that are the haves (defined as not starving).  They provide a battlefield where collective Generosity must overcome individual Greed.

It is a tragic mix-up when the United States spends $500,000 for every enemy soldier killed, and only $53 annually on the victims of poverty.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), Minister/Civil Rights Activist

Not much has changed, has it?

The $450 billion that the United States will spend this year on the military will never buy peace if it continues to spend around one thirtieth of that, just $15 billion, to address the plight of the world’s poorest of the poor…”
The End of Poverty, Jeffrey Sachs 2005


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