Day 235 Question 235

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.

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6 Responses to Day 235 Question 235

  1. Spiritual World Traveler says:

    Great post! Made me think of how I’m envious of anyone traveling. I could be close to leaving or just having been returned. It doesn’t mean I’m not happy for them. I get giddy and say, “I’m SO jealous!” and get truly inspired to go! I get to live vicariously through them. I absolutely get what you’re saying!

  2. Delft says:

    Interesting reflection. I think it’s a question of how you define “envy”.

    Merriam Webster says: painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage. You admire others, and would like to have what they have, and are possibly motivated to work on that, but you don’t sound resentful, rather the contrary.

    I think people who say it’s bad to be envious are really talking about that other part of it – admiration is good for us, it gives us something to strive for.

    Those boys are talented. Way to go.

  3. 16sedici16 says:

    Fantastic! The boys were so great and your post is the same. I too felt the way you do about big families and I found a magnet to remind me of something: “Friends are the family you make for yourself”. Having an Italian father (purebred, haha, straight from the middle of the boot), I felt people looked at me like I was supposed to have 5 overprotective brothers, speak Italian at home, make my own wine and be an awesome cook. Well, I was nothing like that (except for the vino part… and that is serious business in my family! haha) and it took me a long time to be okay with that. When my dad passed away, I changed. I stopped being envious of the things I didn’t have or the things I wasn’t but thought I should be. I started looking forward. I am now pregnant with my first child and hope to have many, so that the hustle and bustle of stereotypical Italian families comes alive in my house for real only we will be a typical Canadian family on our own terms. I am making a great effort in the kitchen and still learning how to cook on a daily basis – granted it’s mostly Italian cuisine, but I do step out of my comfort zone occasionally. The language is something I won’t ever master, but I was in late french immersion in school (grade 6 – grad) and hope to enrol my child in early french immersion (grade 1 – grad), so we can bond on our own level. Who knows, just when I thought my chance to learn Italian disappeared with my father’s smiling face, maybe my baby will help me to learn as s/he starts to understand where s/he came from. Everything finds a way to work itself out. Have peace in knowing you are on the right track.
    “The inspiration you seek
    is already within you.
    Be silent and listen.”
    — Rumi

  4. yomicfit says:

    Very thought provoking.
    I think,
    Like you,
    When you feel envy take note about what to learn from that and
    Not let it turn ugly

  5. Admiration or envy? Envy or Jealousy? Depends on how far you want to take it. Admiration—Jealousy? I often try to speak to my wife about something I have read about old school mate who have been successful or done something extraordinary, but she most always counters with something like “You are jealous” or “You (me) are successful also”.
    “That is not the point, my dear. I am akin to proud of what they have done, very happy for them.”
    Some of the things they have accomplished in their lives would never work for me, nor would that accomplishment be me. I am not wired like that.
    Does that make any sense to anyone but me?

    • Diane :0) says:

      That makes a lot of sense to me. I love writing in this blog but sometimes what I feel is so difficult to put into words. I am far from a saint but other people’s successes and achievements in life make me happy (especially if that person is appreciative). I have been jealous at times in my life…knowing that I would appreciate something far more than the person experiencing it but I have never done anything to rain on their parade. If any of that makes sense :0)

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