To be envious is to measure yourself against another’s talents, reputation or possessions. Jealousy is closely related to envy. Here not only do you want these for yourself, but you also want to take them away from the other person. Envy and jealousy, therefore, are forms of power, ineffectual and harmful as they are, because you want to deprive others of what they have.
Envy arises from feelings of inadequacy, a sense of hollowness and unworthiness. Closing the gap between what others have and what you want by having others lose what they have is to bolster yourself at another’s expense, always a risky enterprise.
Envy is a hunger that cannot be filled. A sense of well- being and happiness cannot be achieved at another’s expense.
The truth is that we can never be deprived, no matter what others have. The world is wide and all the riches are before us. Life is a treasure trove, and we will have what we need, if we look in the right places.
Here is a story from the Jewish tradition:
A storyteller said, “Once there was a bird that lived on the far side of the mountain, a beautiful bird of many colors. People compared this bird to a rainbow or glittering jewels. Whoever saw this bird had their hearts filled with joy.