Envy by MixMasterE

“O! beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on”-Shakespeare in Othello

Of all things to be wary of on the job(&elsewhere) is that insidious, cutting and mortifying human stain termed envy. If there is one thing I have learned about people is that deep down inside they do not find much joy in another’s good fortune or situation. Behind every slanderous insult or diminishing remark made about another person, there you will find the green-eyed miscreant crouched and ever-so ready to attack or guard.

Let’s face it: Some people are more driven than others and are deserving of whatever good fortune they may inherit, whether it be in compensation and/or respect/kudos given by functional superiors. The sticky part for most comes when folks who know/do less leap-frog ahead of the pack not on the merits of job-related skills, but on the impressive gift for gab, charm and/or the taking of credit for other people’s work. I guess this is why we often see fork-tongued incompetents at the top (not incompetent in waxing the right poles though, so credit must be given!). Thus, it is not only one’s achievements/good fortune/vaunted rep that provide the breeding ground for envy, but also the calculated methods/tactics used in achieving one’s ends. (Out of this sordid bed of intrigues, a wealth of tangential questions arise: Does work encourage/promote certain behavioral traits (competition, greed, aggression)over others (empathy, cooperation, humility? Has work become an unpleasant necessity in a market-driven culture that drives people to work simply for a check and not because they particularly like what they do? What is the effect of joyless work on our psyches & the collective? The examined life requires us to question, question, question. Only then can we start to overcome various social pathologies).


Life is way too short & precarious to get caught up envying other folk for whatever reason. If anything, envy those who have noble characters and work to achieve that–in the end, envy will be vastly diminished/destroyed.We are all well aware of the way this culture fosters certain attitudes, behavior and beliefs which are unquestionably poisonous and antithetical to ethical and spiritual principles & practices. Clearly, working against this tide should be actively pursued. Envy poisons and as Shakespeare observed through Iago’s character, makes us all losers as it serves no other purpose than in seeking the destruction of another person’s happiness and ultimately, the destruction of one’s own soul.

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