Thursday, January 25, 2007

A long, long time ago.........

.......I can still remember....
A book that I read by Dr. Gary North, called 'The Politics of Envy'.

I had never given much thought to envy. I thought that it was about the same as jealousy, as in, 'I am jealous of his good fortune' or, I am envious of his good fortune. As I said I thought I knew the definitions, and thought they were interchangeable.

Dr. North wrote that envy was much the worse, because if you were envious of someones good fortune, or looks, or car you wanted what they had for yourself and didn't want them to have it either.

Herewith, the definitions of both, you decide.

jeal·ous (jls)
1. Fearful or wary of being supplanted; apprehensive of losing affection or position.
a. Resentful or bitter in rivalry; envious: jealous of the success of others.
b. Inclined to suspect rivalry.
3. Having to do with or arising from feelings of envy, apprehension, or bitterness: jealous thoughts.
4. Vigilant in guarding something: We are jealous of our good name.
5. Intolerant of disloyalty or infidelity; autocratic: a jealous God.


[Middle English jelous, from Old French gelos, jealous, zealous, from Vulgar Latin *zlsus, from Late Latin zlus, zeal; see zeal.]

en·vy (nv)
n. pl. en·vies
a. A feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another.
b. The object of such feeling: Their new pool made them the envy of their neighbors.
2. Obsolete Malevolence.
tr.v. en·vied, en·vy·ing, en·vies
1. To feel envy toward.
2. To regard with envy.


[Middle English envie, from Old French, from Latin invidia, from invidus, envious, from invidre, to look at with envy : in-, in, on; see en-1 + vidre, to see; see weid- in Indo-European roots. V., from Middle English envien, from Old French envier, from Latin invidre.]

I think what Dr. North was trying to make reference to was the resentment aspect of Envy. Where people who are less wealthy are envious of those more wealthy, and resent them for having more than they.

The premise of the book was that many of the laws passed in this country arise from the desire of a large portion of the populace to punish those who had more of whatever those without did not have.

I believe he is right.

What brings this line of thought on you ask. As well you might..

Our neighbor came over this evening and asked if we had noticed someone at her home today. Apparently her storage shed had been broken into and every thing in it taken.

I had noticed someone this morning and allowed as how I had. Descriptions as best I had followed. (not the best I'm afraid, since I thought I had seen the truck there before).

Her brother, she suspected, and promptly dragged me over to repeat my observations to the police officer there.

She is moving it turned out and everything was mostly out of the house. However I had only known that she had her property for sale, not that she was for all intents moved out already.

People, being people, there will always be those who try to get something for nothing, or very little effort.

I hope I'm not one of them. I don't begrudge anyone anything they have.. Oh, there are many things I wish for that I don't have. But, not at someone else's expense.
And the richer a person becomes, as long as he obtains that wealth honestly, the more pleased I am for them.

I hope the lady gets her stuff back. And if it is her brother.......I hope she kicks him in the balls before they haul his sorry ass off to jail.

I didn't say I don't have a little vindictive streak.

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