Futile Envy

Sometimes life is fair. Most of the time it isn’t. But that doesn’t mean that you usually have the right to complain about what others have compared to what you have.

Sure, if you have a severe disability and your sibling doesn’t, or if you were born in North Korea while most of the world was born elsewhere, you might be entitled to certain (although futile) feelings of resentment. A whole lot of things, however, are either already in your reach, or are undesirable upon further scrutiny.

Let’s start with what you want but think you can’t have… and with the assumption you live in a First-World country (or under First-World circumstances). Do you have a gut and are jealous of skinny people? You can eat better and work out. Envious of the rich? Work hard with wealth as your ultimate goal and you’ll get there. Don’t speak 12 languages? You can probably fix that. Heck, don’t like your face, skin color, or the fact that you look too human? You can probably get all that changed… just look at the late Michael Jackson. If you aren’t happy with what you have, be mad at yourself, and no one else.

But first, get real about what you want and don’t want. Do you really want to be thin enough to be one of those disheveled models that look like they were abducted from the office, left on a mountaintop, and have barely made it back to civilization after a week with little water and no food or sleep? Do you want it badly enough to subsist solely off of a piece of fruit every day (two on Sunday’s, gotta cut loose once in a while)? What about that rich guy with a trendy sports car and a beach babe under each arm? Do you envy his lack of purpose or accomplishments outside the realm of appearance? What about his divorce, children who don’t speak to him, or inability to know if anyone’s interest in him extends beyond his money?

Get real about what you want and don’t want, and whose fault it all really is. If you’re the envious type, don’t waste too much hate on others… save plenty for yourself.

Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx. He is also the founder of the Rights Brigade, a mover for the Free State Project, and a martial art instructor.