Our family is our refuge and strength. We feel better and secure when we are with them. That is why there are those who stay nearby where their family is, because just the thought that they are not that far in distance from each other brings enough comfort that they have someone they can turn to any time for any thing. Family gatherings are the most special times where all members of the family are present and enjoying wonderful moments together. It is also a time of long chats getting to know what’s new in each other’s lives, upcoming plans, accomplishments and projects. Sometimes it sounds as if they are bragging to show how well they do without thinking that sometimes how they express their pride is undermining others. Being proud of your loved ones, your achievements and accomplishments are not bad because you deserve them. It takes hard work to attain something that would give you such stature and reputation. However, the manner of sharing them with other family members should be done with utmost care that you don’t offend others especially those who are underachievers and are going through a tough time in their life. Surely they are happy for you and proud because you will be bringing the family name to a better stature but they are also human beings who can develop envy and jealousy at some point especially when they feel insecure and low. Depending on the manner of how you share your wonderful blessings; you can either worsen it to ill feelings or you can chill the heat of unfavorable emotions and thoughts due to a developing envy and jealousy. There are those who may say that it is not their fault that they are doing better compared to others, they shouldn’t feel bad of what they have just because some people around them are having less. Yes that is true, but a little consideration and sensitivity to humble yourself a bit will not diminish what you have achieved.
But there are moments, although it is rare to hear in an occasional family gathering, where family members share things about them other than the good sides of their life. Sometimes family members can’t help but share the not so good happenings in their life too as they may find the occasion an opportunity to share their misery with hopes of sympathy from loved ones. No one has it all, they say. There are moments when a person can no longer contain what’s bothering him/her and one just needs someone to talk to about it. It may not necessarily be for the purpose of gaining sympathy or soliciting assistance but to at least get understanding and emotional strength to go through their troubled time most especially from their family. This is also the moment when we have to give further respect and be sensitive to their feelings. Better yet, perhaps it is best not to open up about your blessings for the mean time unless asked about it. Let it unfold and be known to others on its own. But if you hardly could keep it, at least make it a point not to sound so boastful.
Being envious and jealous of others seem to be part of human nature. It is from the drop of jealousy and envy that we draw our ambitions and goals in life. From the tiny drop of envy and jealousy we develop admiration and inspiration. If used in a constructive way, it can serve as our motivators to push through in achieving what we want or even do more because we admire others who are able to get to where we want to see ourselves in a span of time. So we make them as our inspiration to motivate us in succeeding too. However, in most cases, a person gets consumed by his/her envy and jealousy. Instead of developing it to admiration and inspiration, it becomes anger and hatred. And sadly family members are not an exception. Many may be opposed to this but in fact envy and jealousy are pretty common among families and relatives. Normally they don’t show it, hypocrisy is the common practice. They may show you happiness and support for your success but deep within them are their insecurities that is developing to an overwhelming envy and jealousy where covetousness is likely to flare-up. Nevertheless, there are really those who have pure intentions and are really happy for a family member’s success.
In most cases due to envy and jealousy without apparent forethought the family members are silently developing rivalry with each other. It is sad because you are related by blood and you are supposed to be in unity and harmony since you are affiliated by consanguinity. You are supposed to be happy in supporting and helping each other heartily and not just in hypocrisy. There are several factors contributing to envy and jealousy among family members, some of which are the rivalry developed over time from frequent comparisons of one family member to another. Another is the competition as to who is better especially when they start bragging to each other, counting the things they have made and are about to achieve more. There is also the literal show off of their wealth and fortune through their material possessions. Showing off is a person’s choice of expressing pride, contentment or joy to another person but if conveyed with the intent to belittle others, humiliate, disparage or underestimate, it will be provoking.
However, not all envy and jealousy was provoked by the person who happens to be in a fortunate state. There are instances where unknowingly we have detractors from among people who happen to dislike us for whatever reasons we may or may not be aware of. These people are usually the ones who will try to find anything that can possibly damage or discredit us hence; they are also the first ones to find out the good news in our life. There comes a time that no matter how we try to keep a low profile from everyone, a thing just unfolds to others on its own in ways we least expect. Here, clearly there is no ill intention because the truth has been known not only from the person concerned but from other means. Envy and jealousy was not provoked rather developed in those who can’t help but feel bitter because of someone’s achievements. And the more good things and wonderful occurrences they find out about the person, the more they become hostile because they have been consumed by their envy and jealousy.
Notice that when a person does not feel good to you, everything you do is interpreted maliciously regardless of how good your intentions may be. It is because they are trying to find faults in you to use against you. Little do they know that it is stressful and heartbreaking to humble yourself more in trying to reach them yet the efforts are not appreciated rather taken badly every time. It is more distressing and difficult with family members because of the fact that you are affiliated by blood and you have certain expectations from your affiliation which may not be met because of envy and jealousy. So just imagine if you live near each other, you get to see each other all the time, you have more chances to talk and spend time with each other hence it also gives more opportunity for envy and jealousy to likely happen because you get to know and see for yourself what’s new with each other; the things that the other possesses and purchase, the achievements and lifestyles… etc. Seeing more good things happening to another person or family member, one can’t help but feel insecure sometimes with the things that others are able to attain and contribute to the family compared to them. These insecurities if not controlled sooner in the event envy and jealousy will slowly consume the individual’s values and sense of affinity which will dramatically create distance among family members and deteriorate the relationship before they know it. In time it will feel like though they may be physically near yet they seem so far apart from each other. Just think about it, if the occasional family gatherings which rarely happen in a year where almost all family members are present and talks about the recent happenings in their lives, upcoming plans, accomplishments and projects can start jealousy and envy within some family members, what more when you actually live near each other?
A person who succumbs to envy and jealousy is like a rotten tomato that when placed with the good ones will rot them too. They are like bacteria that is decaying everyone around them to go against the person they are envious and jealous of. While on the other hand, a person with a right mind will try not to provoke such by humbling himself/herself and by keeping a low profile. Know that an envious and jealous person can be dangerous because they are capable of treachery even if they are your family.
- Lizzy Grace E. Johnson
LGJ, August 2011
Perhaps it is best not to open up about your
blessings for the mean time unless asked about it.
Let it unfold and be known to others on its own.
But if you hardly could keep it,
at least make it a point not to sound so boastful.
A person succumb by envy and jealousy is like
a rotten tomato that when placed with the good ones
will rot them too.
Know that an envious and jealous person
can be dangerous because they are capable of
treachery even if they are a family.