A commenter rolled up on Mychael over at Scott’s place this weekend, saying that she shouldn’t brag on how Scott kicked butt and took names when she was at work, because that public praise could induce envy in others. I posted back a sneeze, and then went away and realized I had a lot bigger problem with that sentiment in general…
NO. You don’t get to say, “don’t tell me about your good things, because it makes me feel bad.”
- That’s victim mentality, and it feels into the “submit to the victim’s whims” societal mess we’re all suffering through. Take that silliness elsewhere.
- Taken to its logical conclusion, we end up with a world where no one ever discusses the good stuff, we only discuss the bad stuff. We end up competitively complaining because we can’t enjoy each other’s happiness. This means we focus on the bad stuff, even if the bad stuff is microscopic in weight next to the good stuff. Oh wait. That’s the world we live in. Talk about a paradigm in need of destruction….
- Envy is a problem. YOUR problem. God is pretty clear about how we’re supposed to deal with riches (and make no mistake, having a good family means you’re rich). The rich are supposed to understand that they’re stewards, and that they’re still only here for a heartbeat, and to look after the poor. As for those who are checking out the goods on the other side of the fence, I think, “Thou shalt not covet” probably covers it.
- I’ve repeatedly heard the men around these parts thank the women for indulging in public praise of their husbands, because hearing it blesses them. One grateful heart connected to an open mouth can do a lot of good. We live in a world that treats husbands like, “your biggest child” and we need more voices pushing back against that infection, not fewer.
Now. I’m humane. I’m not going to call my infertile friend up and squee at her when I’m pregnant, and I’m not going to call my single friend who just broke up with her boyfriend to tell her every tiny detail about my engagement. That’s cruel. But a general statement of pleasure? Please. Not everything is about you – we are to rejoice with the joyful as well as grieve with the bereaved.
Speaking of “general statements of good fortune”… it’s my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. And yes, I know that I am rich beyond measure, and far so beyond my deserts.