How envy causes conflict

…The most cursory look at the sort of thinking now dominant in the West shows that it is doing the reverse. Anti-racism never concerns itself with the spiritual self-improvement of its beneficiaries. It is concerned with worldly goods, but does nothing to help people improve their lot through effective means such as learning skills or deferring gratification and planning for the future. Its constant message is: You have less because the white man has more, and he has more because he has rigged the game in his favor.

Critical race theory inculcates resentment among children to whom it might otherwise not have occurred to compare themselves invidiously with their white neighbors, and directs their attention away from practical ways to improve their own lives. As we have seen, many societies have been dominated by envy, but I cannot think of another case of a regime systematically trying to maximize envy in the rising generation. It is genuinely cruel to the non-white children who are supposedly its intended beneficiaries, but as we would expect from envy-inspired behavior, the aim appears to be to harm us rather than to help them.

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While you may not agree with all of this article, it is worth reading just for having raised the issue of envy and focusing on it. Personally, I can truthfully say that not understanding the power of envy has caused me many problems. If you do not feel envy or do not feel it much or often, it may not occur to you how often it distorts the thinking of others. A Buddhist nun, who is a good friend, often used to tell me that “jealousy” or “envy” were the root causes of much of what we were seeing around us. For years, I always countered her statements with some anodyne explanation but no longer do. Envy over talent or status and sexual jealousy are among the strongest negative emotions we humans have. If you are blessed with decent looks and brains and some ability to work productively, you may not realize how much others may be seething with envy. If you feel envy, practice Buddhism. It will cure that malady well. If you do not feel envy or do not feel it much, Buddhist contemplations on others—intellectual empathy—may help in understanding that the karma or conditions endured by others can be very difficult for them to bear. Buddhist monks live simply and have “left home” (the world) both to keep themselves from feeling envy and to keep others from envying them, among other reasons. If you are blessed (or have earned) a mind rarely sullied by envy, be careful not to be oblivious of it in others. ABN

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