The woodworm of envy

Cervantes called envy the woodworm of all the virtues and root of infinite evils. All the vices, "he added," have a certain I do not know what delight, but that of envy brings nothing but displeasure, resentment, and anger.

Envy is not the admiration we feel towards some people, nor the greed for other people's goods, nor the desire to have the gifts or qualities of another. It's something else.

Envy is saddening for the good of others. It is perhaps one of the most sterile vices and one that is harder to understand and, at the same time, probably one of the most widespread, although nobody presumes it (of other vices that many presume).

Envy is destroying -like a woodworm- to the envious. It does not let you be happy, it does not let you enjoy almost anything, thinking about that other person who may enjoy more. And the poor envious man suffers while he drowns in the most useless and the most bitter sadness: that provoked by the happiness of others.


The envious one tries to calm his pain diminishing in his interior the successes of the others. When he sees that others are more praised, he thinks that the glory that is paid to others is being stolen from him, and try to compensate by neglecting their qualities, discrediting those who know they succeed and excel. Sometimes that's why pessimists are prone to envy.

Wilde said that anyone is able to sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but that it takes a truly noble soul to be happy with the successes of a friend. Envy comes from a crooked heart, and to straighten it requires a deep surgery, and done on time.

To overcome envy, it is necessary to strive to capture what is positive about those around us: seriously propose to awaken the capacity for admiration for the people we know.


There are many things to admire in the people around us. What does not make sense is to be sad because they are better, among other things because then we would be doomed to a permanent sadness, because it is evident that we can not be the best in all aspects.

Envy also leads people to think badly about others without sufficient foundation, and to interpret the seemingly positive things of other people always in the key of criticism. Thus, the envious one will call a thief and scoundrel anyone who triumphs in business; or interested and flattering to the one who is treating him correctly; or, as a sign of more refined envy, when talking about that, who is a brilliant sportsman, recognized by all, he will say: "that imbecile, what a good game!"

To admire the gifts or qualities of others is a natural feeling that the envious suffocate in the narrowness of their heart.


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