The Seven Deadly Sins FIRE Edition: Invidia/Envy
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Index Of The Seven Deadly Sins Links:
Although popularized by the epic poem, The Divine Comedy (Divina Commedia) by Dante, the classification of the Seven Deadly Sins had an even earlier origin.
The version I am using as the basis of this series of posts will date back to the 6th Century AD using the nomenclature of the Catholic Pope, Gregory the Great.
These sins are ordered from the least deadly to the most egregious (and this series of posts will follow the same ordering).
The sixth Deadly Sin was coined Invidia (later donning the name of Envy)
Envy is probably the most famous of sins as it applies to the Financial World/Blogosphere.
It is ingrained in human nature to compare ourselves with our peers.
Finding where one stands amongst their cohorts is not a bad thing in and of itself.
However the Sin of Envy first rears its ugly head when we start to begrudge those who are ranked higher and have our own happiness diminish because of it.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” ―
In the world of social media where every achievement is chronicled on Instagram, Facebook, etc. it is easy to fall into the trap of Envy.
This is exacerbated by the fact that people tend to only put the positives out on social media for the public to see and not the negatives which do occur with all of us.
The casual social media viewer therefore gets a highly distorted view of how others are apparently living and become envious as their own lives fall short.
Coupled with the fact that there are people who pretend to be rich using rentals and borrowed jewelry in order to create a facade for Instagram and you have the makings for unfounded Envy.
The financial impact of this is that we then try to emulate the people we feel are above us by purchasing items we do not need but think will help us bridge that gap.
It is interesting to note that it is not the actual object that is desired by someone who is envious.
Rather the feelings of envy are directed to the possessor of that object.
I am not envious of a private jet for example.
I am however envious of what it must feel like being the owner of a private jet.
In my mind I create my own artificial world which likely surpasses the actual reality of owning a private jet.
Envy is also the underlying force behind a phenomenon called Schadenfreude, which causes us to take pleasure in the downfall of someone who was originally above us in stature.
How many of you took some form of pleasure when, after all the generated hype of Bitcoin and its stratospheric rise suddenly disappeared and those who were Bitcoin multimillionaires suddenly fell back down to Earth?
Part of the reason is because we actually did have these feelings of Envy (whether we admit it or not) about these (initially) lucky individuals who became instantly rich.
Once they were no longer wealthy, the envy disappeared.
“Nothing is as obnoxious as other people’s luck.” ―
To counter the Cardinal Sin of Envy is the Heavenly Virtue of Kindness/Admiration.
“Blessed is he who has learned to admire but not envy, to follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter, and to lead but not manipulate.” ―
When you can truly admire someone for what they have achieved, even if it puts them at a higher level than your own, the sin of Envy melts away.
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