I hate to admit it, but I have had bouts of jealousy. Hell, I am having one right now as I eye my neighbor’s perfectly manicured garden and want to rip out his brilliant assortment of rose bushes. But then in mid thought, as I have a picture in my mind of those rose bushes in my garden, I wonder why I am feeling this way. I don’t even like gardens and, having been born with the black thumb of death, anything I do bury in the dirt resembles more of a zombie plant rather than something remotely green and healthy. So why do I envy someone their success with roses? Then again, why do we envy anyone his or her success? Is it because it is in our nature to want to steal away the success of others and make it our own?
The American Indians call raccoons the thieves of the animal world because they habitually seek to take anything they can find and claim it as their property. Now we are not raccoons, at least not all of us, but is their something deep inside of us at a genetic level that drives us to covet our neighbors belongings. Is it part of an undiscovered survival mechanism that psychologists have yet to identify with some abbreviation like ADHD? Perhaps envious as *&$# syndrome, or EASS. One more disorder that takes a lot of therapy, and a healthy dose of prescription medication, to discreetly control. And what about those Christian values we have all been raised on. I’ve seen people sitting in church turn pee green with envy when they spy a beautiful couple with their perfect angelic looking children, expensively tailored clothes, and glittering jewelry, walking to their private pew. We assume they must happy, right? They are better looking, richer, and have more than any of us. But is that necessarily true.
Reality television must have taught us that even the Kardashians can have a bad hair day. So why since Cain first took a swing at Abel, have we been coveting our neighbor’s happiness? Have we not learned anything since we first had to cover our nakedness in the Garden of Eden? Granted, some individuals have mastered the ability to forgive and forget. Perhaps it’s their belief in a karmic retribution, rather than a Christian ideal, that motivates their exemplary attitude. I have witnessed the power of this universal truth. What you send out into the universe will eventually come back to bite you in the ass.
As I stare at Mr. Green Thumb’s roses, I vow to try and temper my envy, and instead appreciate the fact that someone has achieved something that has made the world a better place to live. What you do for yourself, you do for all of us, because we are all connected. In a way, Mr. Green Thumb’s success is mine too. I should celebrate his efforts, and not negate them. But damn, I think as I stare at his bright crimson blooms, those roses would look much better in my garden.