What’s killing you from within?
22 Sep 2017
Envy comes from people's ignorance of, or lack of belief in, their own gifts.
Jean Vanier - Canadian philosopher
Recently I had been interacting with students who were competing in different competitions. These students were from different geographical areas and the competitions were also for various fields of study, universities, schools and age groups. There was however one thing I happened to notice that was common among a few of these students.
A few who were unfortunate to win the competitions had been reacting in a way that looked to me more like a resentful behaviour. They were debating on how they think the winner was declared in error or how they think the whole system of the competition was not fully right. They seemed to have all the reasons to believe they had done a better job that was not recognized or rewarded.
The envy that kills
For some reasons I did not feel good about how these incidents turned up and thought to myself that these students had to learn how envy could kill someone from the inside. When I was only a beginner in chess and went to this competition first time in my history of chess, we had two brothers who were professional players and competed with the higher age group of theirs and won the competition. The applauds were very high and the guests speaking at the valedictory insisted everyone to make them a role model. I can never forget that moment in my childhood, as I listened to the speech, sitting in the ground, not paying much attention to applauds or the crowd, but firmly making up my mind to learn chess. I did not want to compare these brothers with myself to feel low because of the lack of opportunities in my life. In about a year, I happened to sit as an opponent against one of these brothers in the final round of a district level tournament as were competing for the title and graciously I won that day.
I would not have made any progress had I envied the brothers at the first competition. The envy would have made me believe that this world defines who I am. That envy would have occupied my mind without letting me go forward. I would have only wasted my time complaining about my past without looking at a possible future.
Together we grow
I am a strong believer that humanity can exist only when we grow together. I do not believe that one can grow all alone. One can exist without external support for a limited period of time but wouldn’t be right to believe that they can grow without others. This is the same attitude we must have when we meet someone successful. Appreciate them for being there. Learn from them. Make way for them to go forward so you have the space to make the next move forward. Always remember to help someone else who may be behind you. I have personally had the courage to seek help from people I thought were successful. Not all of them help, but at least I made an attempt to seek help and learn.
It's not the end
Sometimes it happens that as we put in a lot of hard work into something, we tend to believe that this world must acknowledge our works. We stress ourselves when we happen to end up where the world does not recognize our works. We then start to complain about how this world failed to understand our works or we start to talk about the wrong systems or wrong people who were behind wrong judgements. The best advice in this situation would be to remember that sometimes it takes more than one try before we are recognized. We should not give up as if it is the end of the world but should take it on a positive note and try until we succeed.
Apples and oranges
It naturally happens to most of us to envy a successful person. We should always remember that every human being is unique. You do not want to compare yourself with a different person directly as that would be like comparing an apple with an orange. Your skills, strengths, environment you come from, the society you are part of, and many other things will surely differ from the other person. It does not mean that you would not be as successful as someone else but just not successful that day or in the same thing and the say way the other person is.
Your past need not define your future
Finally, one can get rid of this poisonous envy that can even kill their own self, by knowing the fact that our past does not need to define our future. Work on your bad experiences from the past to make the most of your future. If you have never had a opportunity before, make one for yourself now. Forget about the time you have lost in the past, as it’s never too late to start again. Humble yourself to seek help and to help others.
Get rid of envy, believe in yourself, figure out the gifts you have, re-define your future and win!