A Crippling Disease
Jealousy is one of the character flaws that I think is among the most detrimental. Jealous individuals often have a bitter focus on others (and their accomplishments) with a deficit of focus on themselves. They become resentful of the talents, relationships, social status, possessions and abilities of others.
Jealous people want for themselves, what others have. And often they are gravely offended by the bestowal of blessings to those whom they find both undeserving and unqualified.
The jealous person often looks upon others and resolves to himself that they are arrogant or conceited in their fortune, even when such is not the case.
The jealous person can become so disturbed in his own sour feelings, that in his mind, a new and fictitious narrative develops. In the narrative, the blessed person has neither earned his fortune, nor worked hard or sacrificed. The narrative states that the talents of the gifted are not so special at all and that the praise and fame has come from fraud, deception or just pure luck.
Additionally, and in support of his narrative, the jealous person begins using innuendo to suggest to others that the blessed person is not who they represent themselves to be at al. He suggests that by cheating alone could one be so successful.
A jealous person is someone who is so poisoned in his own mind that his mindset perverts his actual reality.
He sees himself as mistreated or somehow victimized by the praise and recognition others receive. He asks why no one is noticing him and answers that there must be some conspiracy against him. He sees others as favored over him due to nepotism or bias on the part of others.
The jealous person does not consider or accept that the blessed person is genuinely gifted in the field in which he shines. Often he will discount his own accolades, praise or accomplishments as small in comparison to what he perceives of others.
A jealous person can become so insane in his mind that he may bargain with God to cut short the favor he sees unfairly granted to others.
Jealousy is an extremely toxic feature in a person. Moreso, it becomes destructive because seldom does the jealous person confine his animosity to himself. He campaigns to sway others to his way of thinking by spreading slander and rumors.
A person is vulnerable to jealousy when he or she lacks a strong foundation in who and what they are. Jealous people are typically insecure, fearful, lacking in confidence and have a poor self image. When we have a firm knowledge of our strengths and weaknesses, and ACCEPT who we are; we don’t do easily entertain the negative emotion of jealousy. Jealous people compare and compete with others instead of seeking to live well and thrive because it is simply the right way to co-exist.
Jealous tendencies start in childhood. This is why it is important that we rear our children with a strong love of themselves AND an appreciation of others. We should always point out their own gifts and talents as they manifest. But when we do so, it should not occur in comparison to their peers or siblings. We must intercept the notion they are in competition with others but rather that they are in competition with their own personal best.
In this way, we help them focus on their own character, talents and areas of personal improvement.
In Islam, we are taught to want for our brother and sister what we want for ourselves. I append that statement. “We are to want for our brother and our sister what we want for ourselves--even if we have not attained it yet.” It is easier to support other’s gains when they have not yet surpassed our own. However, I've often noticed people’s pain over other’s accomplishments simply because they’ve attained them first. They feel ‘beaten’ or ‘left behind’ and grieve for themselves. But we must recognize that it is in our community’s best interest that we all succeed and thrive in whatever order it occurs. When we each strive to do our best, it helps us all.
Jealousy is a blinding and crippling disease. I’ve watched others make themselves sick with hatred for their brother or sister’s success. It has no place in progressive culture. Still, it is a hurdle in character which is hard to overcome.
Because of this, I believe we must inoculate our youth early by helping them take accountability for their own gains and failures and encourage them to support the success of their peers. By being examples ourselves in supporting those amongst us who are progressive, the battle is already halfway won.
Nurah strives to enlighten, empower and engage her readers with the wealth of knowledge she has gained from her own experiences and those of others from whom she has learned.