Skip to comments.Envy: The underrated sin
Posted on 08/17/2007 2:58:43 PM PDT by CutePuppy
As my wife will attest, I often suffer from futterneid. This is the term Germans use to describe the envy we feel when, for example, someone orders a better meal than ours. I'm also prone to schadenfreude, the tendency to take pleasure in the misfortune of others. So if I get the braised short ribs and you get stuck with the snail tartare, your futterneid will fuel my schadenfreude.
Perhaps it's no coincidence the Germans have so many words for the chillingly petty emotions that run like cold streams through the human heart. Poor, dark and divided, Germany was an ideal location to harbor resentment against one's neighbor, be he a slightly more prosperous farmer, a Jew, a Catholic or even a nation.
Indeed, just look again on the 20th century. Envy turned Germany cruel. In Russia, the ideology of envy socialism likewise ran amok under the label Bolshevism and threatened to overrun the world.
In primitive societies, "No one dares to show anything that might lead people to think he was better off," Schoeck observed. "Innovations are unlikely. Agricultural methods remain traditional and primitive, to the detriment of the whole village, because every deviation from previous practice comes up against the limitations set by envy."
In America, we have our own politics of fools. John Edwards leads an all-star cast of liberal politicians and intellectuals (Edwards is decidedly not the latter) who worship at the altar of Invidia, praying that she will exact penance from the undeserving half of our "two Americas."
Like the "scientific socialism" that concealed envy behind a slide rule, today's liberals invoke social science as justification for their covetousness.
(Excerpt) Read more at jewishworldreview.com ...
I once read that in many places in Africa, having a better life than one's neighbor will get you accused of being a witch, with death and confiscation of your property soon to follow. No wonder these nations are still third world.
I despise envious people, people that are always looking around at others and trying to outdo the Joneses while never being happy with what they have. I could give a rat’s arse about what other people are doing, I do what makes me happy and have my own style.
I think it make you more decisive and creative, and more independent and stronger, which ironically brings even more envy from the enviers. Which is why I dismiss these weak and pathetic wastes with a standard answer - STFU and mind your own business.
Hmmmmmmm. I thought this was the demonrat party platform.
Thou shall not covet. The Bible seems to have it right on this one.
Dr. Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve, pointed out that the flip side of envy is guilt, which is the genesis of modern liberalism. Misunderstood and unchecked, it leads to self hatred and the elevation of all who have less to a plane of superiority. IMO, spirituality (Christianity, in my case) helps me reconcile my failings and successes without being devoured by either of them. Self flagellation and debasement does not fulfill the human need to serve others as well as true acts of charity and volunteerism-it has to come from within us and can’t be dictated from politicial or social institutions. Again, IMHO, it is God who leads us to virtue, not the mandates of men.
We discuss socialism every day here on FR, -- with socialists who insist that our various levels of gov't can 'arrest the development of all to the advancement of "the goals" a supposed 'majority'.
I've never been a fan of Jonah Goldberg, -- but I have to admit he makes a great point this time.
I’m not prone to envy. I have too much pride to think anyone is better than me.
Anybody know if Jonah [or his mom] still reads FR?
Right On!! God has plenty and goodness for all his creation.
Yes, but to someone whose mind is clouded by the Liberal Fog, wishing to keep the fruits of one's labor is "greedy". Taking the fruits of "greedy" people's labor is good, since it punishes the evil ones.
Other than the witchcraft part, it sounds like the liberal left with business as usual.
Nor am I.
-- but I have to admit he makes a great point this time.
He does indeed.
Sam Walton and the company he helped to create from a small business is to be lambasted and criticized however.
One routinely spits on America and the values of decent people while the other was one of the innovators in selling cheap goods to average Americans. (Please spare me the Chinese diatribe; not when the people making it are regular Walmart shoppers)
Good point! The irony is so rich. Socialism seeks to rid the world of poverty by stealing the wealth of hard productive workers. As they steal money , they look down their noses at their victims telling their victims they will be better off because they will learn to be less materialistic. No one has ever overcome poverty by frugal living alone. Work trumps poverty.
Selectively, and on certain subjects, he comes up with good observations that are worth reading and thinking about.
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/jonah1.asp - his archive, which I admit I have barely read (but it’s the second one I posted on FR few days apart).
I generally like the site overall for the richness and diversity of their authors’ opinions (click any of the “JWR pundits” on the right side) , but don’t visit it often.
The kind of envy Jonah is talking about, --- is seeing a nice car and prohibiting the ability to own one, -- because it offends your political agenda.
People who let these emotions take over their life only hurt themselves.
When you hate somebody, the object of your hate doesn't suffer. But you will. You are also giving the object of your hate power over you.
When you envy somebody, the object of your envy doesn't become less fortunate. However, if you are busy envying others, you will not be able to improve your own station in life and your wasted emotion will only ensure that you continue feel inferior to others.
When you engage in self-pity, nobody is going to feel sorry for you but yourself. Self-pity is poor box office. Your self-pity will drive your successful friends away from you and you will be surrounded by losers like yourself.
So those are the three self-destructive emotions. The best thing you can do for your well-being is to hate nobody, envy nobody and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
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