Quote of the Day: Envy

 

The Emotion Nobody Wants To Talk About: Envy — LevelheadBeware the vice of envy. It is the only one of the seven deadly sins that brings not even the simulacrum of pleasure. Pride may get things done. You may, like Augustus Caesar, want to find your city in brick so that you can leave it in marble. It will not please God, this is all too human pride, but at least Rome will shine in the sun after a rainstorm, not look like heaps of mud. Lust may revel in the beauty of the human body. Even sloth may once in a while enjoy doing nothing on a pleasant afternoon. But envy is always looking cross-eyed – that is what the Latin invidia means – at something good that someone else enjoys, and wishing to ruin the enjoyment.

It is spiritual poison for weaklings.

— Anthony Esolen from his latest book, No Apologies

It has always seemed to me that socialism is merely envy tarted up as a virtue. “Spiritual poison for weaklings” is thoroughly apropos of the entire progressive project.

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  1. Richard O'Shea Coolidge
    Richard O'Shea
    @RichardOShea

    The 10th commandment is the hardest to keep.

    • #1
  2. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    I read a good description of envy in a sports psychology book:

    Envy…creates feelings of inferiority and shame (about not being good enough) and only involves two people: the person you are and the person you wish you were.

    There is always something or someone standing in the way of the progressive utopia that they assure themselves is just around the corner.

    • #2
  3. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Am I happy for those acquaintances who just shared photos of their 7th international vacation this year? Um, sure. I’m completely happy for the beautiful people, living their fabulous lives. (Okay, point taken.)

    *******

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    • #3
  4. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    I don’t think envy is quite like coveting.

    As far as I can tell, envy is wanting a wife or a house or a job or a car like your neighbors.  Coveting is wanting your neighbor’s wife, or house, or job, or car.

     

    • #4
  5. Podkayne of Israel Member
    Podkayne of Israel
    @PodkayneofIsrael

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    I don’t think envy is quite like coveting.

    As far as I can tell, envy is wanting a wife or a house or a job or a car like your neighbors. Coveting is wanting your neighbor’s wife, or house, or job, or car.

     

    According to my study of Hebrew scriptures and the rabbinic commentaries, this is the case. The “Evil Eye”, to which some attribute contingent powers, is often explained as the malevolent effects of envy in the world.

    This also fits well with my own experience of envy on both sides of the equation.

    • #5
  6. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    I don’t think envy is quite like coveting.

    As far as I can tell, envy is wanting a wife or a house or a job or a car like your neighbors. Coveting is wanting your neighbor’s wife, or house, or job, or car.

    It sounds to me more like envy—I mean, when we’re using the word to mean the sin—- is a desire, born of resentment, to destroy or diminish whatever pleasure or joy your neighbor gets from his wife, house, job or car.

    Today, after watching “What is a Woman?” at the Daily Wire, I found myself wondering if we’re willing, as a society, to let this mutilation of children happen because we unconsciously envy children’s their innocence and joy and that they have their whole lives ahead of them.

    Then too, the male bashing Esolen probably writes about in No Apologies is probably envy driven. There seems to be envy in the female bashing of transgender “women”.

    • #6
  7. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    Well, my differentiation is (1) semantic categorizing mostly, and (2) separates keeping up with the Joneses (which is a desire for more — to keep up equal status) from the precursor emotion that leads to stealing away something from someone else, and even murdering, in order to have what is not yours.

    They are categorically different somehow.  With the former a person can work more diligently to own a car like his neighbors.   Enlarging yourself.

    But in the latter, one does not have to do anything at all but steal from what’s next door (or parasitism).  Enlarging yourself at the expense of a neighbor.

    And these two above are different from being a killjoy, or vandalism, which seems to me to be envy driven; that is, not a matter of plentitude, or distribution or of acquiring more, but destroying the substance and pleasure that someone else has, at its worst leveling the ground to rubble.  Diminishing your neighbor without benefitting yourself.

    • #7
  8. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    In my opinion, anti-Semitism basically comes down to envy.  Resentment of what others have achieved, and wanting to take down the others to make you feel better (not BE better, just feel better).  The Jews made Gaza into a garden.  When they turned it over to the “Palestinians”, the Palestinians destroyed the garden and made it into a wasteland.

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  9. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    In my opinion, a lot of the continuing damage of the Sexual Revolution came down to youth envy. People in their 30’s and 40’s envied people in their teens and twenties. On some level, the attitude was: why should I have to nurture, train and protect them? Why should I set them a good example ? They have their whole lives ahead of them. Their beauty gives them unfair influence. They’re having fun. And I’m getting wrinkles, cellulite and thinning hair.

    When you don’t really believe there’s anything beyond this life, or if your culture doesn’t reflect that there is, it makes sense you’d be more susceptible to envying the young.

    • #9
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