Harvey S. Hecker Character Development Series: Our words are a powerful force to build – and destroy.
#9 Envy: The Path to Self-Defeat
Originally published by Rabbi Shraga Simmons on aish.com
In our age of uber-wealth, many pine to join the “one percent club” with its promise of travel, glamour, exciting relationships, and bulging bank accounts. Social media promotes this envy with curated posts that proclaim: “Look at me! Here I am with playoff tickets! Now I’m flying to an exotic vacation – business class! And here I am winning an award. Look how wonderful my life is! Don’t you wish you were me?”
Jealousy exists when we see someone achieving more than us, and our soul realizes it’s not fulfilling its potential. Rather than accepting responsibility to improve oneself, we seek to eliminate the “source” of our discontent by putting others down and denying their success.
Jealousy is at the root of all human conflict. History’s first murder revolves around envy: When Abel’s offering was accepted, Cain became resentful.1 When Joseph got special treatment, the brothers became jealous and sought to eliminate him.2