Day 235 Question 235:
Are envy and admiration bad or good things?
With almost any concept we can put a negative spin on things. Many people see envy as being such a sin and in some cases it can have some very negative affects but if viewed in a healthy manner, both envy and admiration can be very positive for a person. I envy and admire people with large families that have so much love and have close bonds…the families that spend a lot of time together and come together for Holidays and special occasions. I do not have a family like this. I have a couple of people I am close with but not the extended family I sometimes think about. I envy this but I do not resent those that have that…instead I choose to build my own family. Family does not necessarily mean that we have to be related by blood….family is those that come together and love each other without question. Family are the people in your life that you would do anything for and hope for their happiness more than anything. Yes, I wish my family that was related by blood was like this but we are not so instead I choose to change the whole concept of family to meet my needs. That may sound selfish but I do believe everyone needs family in some form or another.
We hear the term green with envy and the concept seems to take this greedy turn. Envy is viewed as a sin because people that are envious want what others have. I can understand if people do not have their own identity that this may become an issue but I also don’t see envy as such a horrific thing either. There are many qualities that people have that I am envious of….people with artistic talent that seems to come so naturally, people with musical abilities that they had since childhood….I envy those that have a gift that they were born with. We were all born with gifts…it just takes more time for some than others to discover our gift. Maybe I am crossing more into the territory of admiration more than envy. Either way, I do not believe either concept should always get such a negative reputation….through both of these “emotions” we are finding ourselves. Through envy we discover what we want in life and through admiration we strive to be better (well hopefully for most people this is true).
I realize that the world is so much bigger than me and sometimes I try to see everything through rose colored glasses. I realize that some people can take envy to an extreme and lose complete sense of self. They no longer live for themselves but only strive to be just like someone else…they want things thinking it will make them happy. I have said it time and time again…life is this great balancing act. You never want to fall too far outside of yourself…to an unnatural place. What could make someone else happy may not have the same effect on you. With envy, I believe when we feel this we are meant to learn…we are meant to see what is important to us and to decide how to handle these things. Being envious does not mean making a snap decision.
I chose this topic today because while surfing the great world wide web I stumbled upon a youtube video of two young boys doing a cover of Jason Mraz’s new song. I was absolutely blown away. I felt immediate admiration because these young boys are developing their natural talents and sharing them with the world. At their age it could be very easy to not take anything seriously, but they have a gift and they are sharing in…and I am sure they are sharing in hopes of obtaining success. I felt envious of their (obvious) natural talent but I also admired them for it all at the same time. My envy did not make me feel like I was less talented or special….it made me feel proud for these boys. They have a gift…a natural talent and that is such a beautiful thing. There is nothing that bothers me more than seeing people waste great talent (but that is easy to say without knowing people’s circumstances). I guess the more I write the more I see how envy can lead to destructive ways….when envy leads to other things such as jealousy that may potentially just end in a downward spiral. With envy there needs to be awareness in order to keep it on a healthy level…but that is strictly my opinion and something that may not be easy for everyone.
I wanted to share the video of the young boys below so others could see their talent. I admire children and youth that have natural talent and also those that do for others before they do for themselves. I believe some people are born with natural abilities and as strange as it may sound some of those abilities include seeing the world outside of themselves….seeing the importance of empathy and compassion. My envy and admiration toward these qualities drive me to try to continue on my quest to do better for myself and for others.