the ladder of envy

Do you think envy is real? Do you believe everyone experiences this at some point in their lives? Or do you feel you are too good and contented and you can and have never felt the power of that green vile monster? Envy is a green-eyed monster that creeps into your mind, twists it, and it is mostly negative. I’m not going to bore you, trust me. I am going to try to make this as relatable as much as possible – I hope this English is correct.

As humans we have wants, desires, and needs and these wants if not checked may escalate and become toxic to us. Envy happens to almost everyone. From being envious that your friend finished with a 2:1 and you struggled to scale through with a 2:2, to being envious they got a better posting than you did. To being envious that they got a job before you even though they barely finished with a 2:2 and you with your shinning 2:1 are still frequenting job sites.

You can be envious of that lose girl in your hostel that is getting married in a month’s time and not just to any man but a well to do one. Or be envious that your friend’s business is doing better than yours even though you both started together or worse that you taught him the ropes.


You may wonder isn’t envy the same as jealousy, or what is the difference between both of them, I would clarify. Envy is wanting what someone else has whilst jealousy is the fear that something you currently have might be taken from you. Aristotle defined envy as pain at the sight of another’s good fortune, stirred by “those who have what we ought to have”.

I mentioned earlier that it might be positive and I mean it in this context – it can be described as a mix of admiration and discontent. At some point in your primary school, you have been envious of the new kid who just joined the class and has everyone’s attention. Or envious of the girl whose hair was longer or the boy who got new school shoes or the new comics school bag. All those times you were being envious of what your mate had.


As much as you think you cannot hurt a fly so the way you feel is fine and valid at least you are entitled to your own opinion. Or the way you feel you should also realize that your thoughts will eventually metamorphosize into actions if you care isn’t taken and you do not act on them.

In my honest opinion, I do not see anything wrong with the thought popping up in your head, at some point in your life, it is bound to happen, someone is always going to be ahead of you. One of your friends is going to be more successful than you are or have everything you have always wanted. But what you do with this thought is what actually happens.


You could be smiling with your friend but he won’t ever know you are envious of him till you do something out of the ordinary – he wouldn’t know because he’s not in your head. Thousands of thoughts and ideas run through our minds daily and except you are a mind-reader you cannot deduce what the next person is thinking.


When this green spirit slowly seeps into your being, admit it, yes, I’m feeling this typa way. There is no point denying it. You can deny it to the next person but you have a responsibility to be truthful and honest to yourself.

Admittance is always the first step to recovery I don’t know about you but this always works for me. One time this a year, a close friend got a job and whilst I was happy for this friend, I was also envious. What did I do?

I knew this was negative energy and I didn’t want it ruining my friendship with this person. So after confirming that my feelings were very much valid, I had to work myself. I had to give myself enough pep talk to last a year on reasons why I had to get over this feeling, distancing myself a little also helped. You can talk to your mind, you own it, it doesn’t own you. You can speak words of affirmation or continue to fill it up with bile.

The choice is yours. Whatever you do, you must realize envy is the foundation for most of the ills in our society. It is the reason young boys go into yahoo, sell their future and the unfortunate ones end up running mad and also why young girls resort to runs.

It is why friends literally kill themselves and families fight. Also why blood flow and the reason why some people are spending life in prison or worse facing the death penalty. Whatever you do you must realize there are consequences for every action we carry. Whatever you do, do the right thing. Speak to your envy, address it, and most importantly, do not let it consume you.

21 thoughts on “WHAT ENVY DOES TO YOU

  1. Envy has no towncrier, it slowly creeps in to steal every elements that combines to give one Joy.

    Jennifer has once more remained consistent with her attribute of being an awesome writer!

  2. Green with envy! Love it ? Such a natural human feeling that people often minimize without realizing that it’s indeed one of the 7 deadliest sins in the Bible, getting those thoughts out of ones head is really about constant conditioning and contentment , love this write up Jennifer ❤️

  3. Nice Read.
    As humans we are all in one way guilty of these two emotions and people almost always think they are the same but they are not.”Jealousy” has stronger emotions attached. It’s no coincidence that “jealous” comes from “zealous,” which means “ardent devotion.”If you have, or had, something, and are trying to protect it, you are “jealous” of it. You can be “jealous” of your reputation, your lover.

    “Envy,” on the other hand, is more like “want” and “desire” than “zeal.” It’s sometimes considered a “nice” word for “jealousy.” The Biblical sin, though, is “envy,” not “jealousy”: When you “covet thy neighbor’s wife,” you are resentful that your neighbor has her, and you don’t, your friend has this good job and you don’t Its previous uses include “malice” and “spite.” So “envy” isn’t as benign as some might
    have it.

    1. We are not worthy Ma! You’ve said it all! From start to finish. Where’s my pen and paper biko?? We are learning at thy feet!
      Thank you for this amazing input.

  4. This is a beautiful piece.
    I believe this feeling is quite common. The important thing is to acknowledge it, but not dwell in it. Instead, one should try to establish healthy competition, be inspired.

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