The definition of envy and its synonyms that include hatred, ill will, malice, rivalry, lusting, covetousness and malicious are not really words one would want to be associated with. Growing up I heard about envy a lot around the house and I realize later that outside of my home this word was not a positive one.
My father always told me that if I want to envy someone I should choose to positively envy them. Positive envy you might be thinking…. Yes POSITIVE ENVY, this meant that If I see someone who has what I want or have achieved something I would love to achieve, instead of being jealous of this person I should aspire and work hard to achieve/get this item or thing. I think its only human to want what others have because we never satisfied with what we have, my father went on to tell me teach me that once I want what others have I have 2 options. The firstoption is to sit back, dream about having said item, not do anything about it and eventually end up loathing the owner of the item I covet and the second option is to work hard and get the item I so want. It was instilled in me to take the second option always and it has never failed me thus far.
My first memory of this was when I first went to University. The faculty brochure had a list of the lecturers and their qualifications. Most of the qualifications typically looked the same. The lecturers and Professors had either Masters degrees or PhDs. One particular lecturer’s credentials stood out for me, the particular lecturer had a Masters degree (cum laude) from one of the top 10 Universities in Africa, I was impressed and I was envious of this great achievement. I instantly remembered my father’s teaching on envy and again I chose to be inspired and work hard for the same goal.
As you get older, it is so easy to want what others have and to end up secretly disliking them for that, but it takes courage to be happy for someone’s achievement and learn from them so you can attain a similar goal or more. I strongly believe in celebrating other people’s victories in life because I know there is enough for everyone. It has been 10 years since I first looked in that faculty brochure for the first time and I can proudly look at my own Masters (cum laude) from a top 10 African University <3