The whacked, petty, envious dolt, however, sees someone else excel and is slapped in the face with the reality that he just got dogged. So, instead of sucking it up and working harder and smarter, the unwise envious freak allows his pride to fuel his wounded little spirit. This sets the dejected perp down a path of disparagement of the prosperous that eventually morphs into the desire to destroy the person, party or nation that has just trumped this sad little person.
Os Guinness, best-selling author and renowned lecturer, states that the sin of envy has several common characteristics:
1. Envy is the vice of proximity. We are always prone to envy people close to us in temperament, gifts or position.
2. Envy is highly subjective. It is in the eye of the beholder. It is not the objective difference between people that feeds envy, but the subjective perception. As a Russian proverb says, “envy looks at a juniper bush and sees a pine forest.”
3. Envy doesn’t lessen with age. It gets worse as we run into more and more people of happiness and success, offering more fodder for envy.
4. Envy is often petty but always insatiable and all consuming. However small the occasion that gives rise to it, envy becomes central to the envier’s whole being. The envier “stews in his juice.” Envy begins with pride and then plunges the person into hatred.
5. Envy is always self-destructive. What the envier cannot enjoy, no one should enjoy, and thus the envier loses every enjoyment. The envier’s motto is “if not I, then no one.” As an eighth-century Jewish teacher put it, “the one who envies gains nothing for himself and deprives the one he envies of nothing. He only loses thereby.”
Y’know, there are many forces tearing at this land and many nations that would like to level our nation. That said, I believe this envious entitlement funk that’s speedily weaving its way into the fabric of our national life will destroy it faster than al-Qaeda could ever al-Hope to.
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