Envy: The Seven Deadly Sins Series
Envy, Pride, Lust, Greed, Wrath, Gluttony, Sloth.
These are the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins are manifestations of the evil within us—terrible vices we must overcome in order to avoid eternal damnation…or so they say.
When you think of the seven deadly sins, perhaps you envision Billy Graham standing in front of an enormous crowd preaching about the dangers of envy—thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house—he bellows. Or possibly you think of Brad Pitt shooting Kevin Spacey over Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in a box. Or maybe you’re super intellectual and conjure up images of Dante’s The Devine Comedy.
I think of most of these things too. Then I think about how we’ve been indoctrinated by our society to repress emotions, thoughts, and feelings that are the very core of who we are as human beings.
Money is the root of all evil
Getting angry doesn’t solve anything
Don’t be such a flirt, people will think you’re a slut
But if we have to put so much effort into NOT doing or feeling these things, maybe we should stop and wonder if there’s a reason we want—or need—to do them in the first place.
Greed, and gluttony, and envy and all those other “sins” exist for a reason.
They’re nature’s way of telling us what we need to survive and thrive in the world. So maybe we shouldn’t just ignore them. Maybe if we indulged in these peccadillos every once in a while, we’d actually find ourselves happier, healthier, more productive, more pleasant people.
And nowhere do I think this is more needed than in veterinary medicine—a field where we are constantly finding ourselves compelled to work to the brink of exhaustion, give away our services, keep calm as irate clients yell in our faces, skip our lunch breaks, and remain humble as we save lives and kick butts!
And so, I bring you the first in my new series of blogs extolling the virtues of the seven deadly sins.
Today, we start with envy…
Simply put—envy is a desire to have what someone else has. We envy those who are smarter, richer, more talented, and more accomplished than us.
In other words, the grass is always greener, amirite?
But why exactly is this bad? What’s so wrong about wanting more? Great things don’t happen by accident—you have to work for them. And if we’re totally satisfied with our lives exactly as they are, what motivation do we have to drive us forward? And seeing someone else have what we want can be excellent motivation.
Maybe you’ve just heard one of your vet school classmates opened their own brand new clinic, and though you really are excited for them, under the surface, a twinge of jealousy is lurking. You’re still working for someone else and though you like it there, you wish you could be your own boss—that you could have the freedom to turn those 15-minute appointments into 20-minute appointments, to hire some extra support staff so you’re not always feeling short-handed, or to buy that cold-laser so you can better help your patients. Maybe hearing about someone else’s successful endeavor could be the kick in the pants you need to make the leap into practice ownership.
Or maybe your sister just got engaged and you’ve been working so hard you haven’t been on a date in almost a year. You love seeing her happy, but also, watching her try on wedding dresses and contemplate honey-moon destinations makes you feel so lonely you could cry. So, you finally take the leap and sign-up for Bumble or hit up a local speed dating event.
Can envy have its dark side?
Sure. If you sit around stewing and feeling bitter about all the things that you haven’t got, that’s not helping anyone. If envy has you sabotaging your friend’s new relationship because you don’t want to be all alone, or feeding your classmates wrong info during study sessions in order to skew the curve, you’ve got a problem.
But we all have wants and needs in this life. Envy helps create the drive we need to ensure our material and emotional well-being. It pushes us to grow and become better, happier versions of ourselves. So go ahead, get a little green-eyed over someone else’s accomplishments, and challenge yourself to go out and get what you want out of life.