On nature and envy
By Margaret Matthews, Columnist
I love the outdoors and spend a considerable amount of time revelling in the beauty of nature. Whether I am on a hiking trail, or relaxing by a lake or seashore, there is so much to see and enjoy.
Green is a very relaxing and soothing colour, especially when one is stressed out with the challenges of life. Feasting one’s eyes on the various shades of green has a soothing effect on the mind. As I hike, I observe that the tender young shoots of the plants are a delicate apple-green, while the full-grown foliage have turned a forest green, and the gigantic trees that line the hiking path have turned to a mint green. Oftentimes these shades are reflected on a lake, pond, or body of water, and although the water itself is not clear, the green shades add lustre and colour to the muddy waters, transforming it to an artist’s paradise.
On the other side of the coin is the “green-eyed monster”—the negative association when envy invades the minds of some. Envy and jealousy have existed since the beginning of time when Cain slew his brother Abel in a fit of jealous rage. Many of the Italian operas feature jealousy between lovers as the main conflict of the storyline, especially when they are caught in a love triangle.
In my opinion envy and jealousy stem from one’s insecurities, low self-esteem, and self-centredness—trying to compete with someone else, and wanting all the attention and success to be directed at oneself, rather than at another person. This is an immature personality trait, but it can continue on into adulthood, sometimes ending friendships that had previously existed for years.
There is also another aspect called professional jealousy which can be found among adults in the corporate world. One employee has been bypassed for a promotion by the management, and another has climbed up the corporate ladder with a higher title and a big raise in salary. How does the loser react to such a situation? I would suggest that they do some introspection to see where they fell short, and how they can improve. Perhaps they have an irate personality, or lack courtesy and good public relations which were evident to the management and co-workers and need to be worked on. It’s not only the knowledge acquired to do the job that is paramount, but how a person relates to their clients, co-workers, and management with whom they interact, that is the criteria for advancement and a promotion.
Having done this introspection, it would be benevolent for the loser to go to the winner with a genuine big smile, congratulate them on their promotion, and wish them all the best for the future. When the loser puts this into action, positive emotions will undoubtedly follow, and the green-eyed monster will soon abscond.