Virtues and Sins Part VI: Kindness vs. Envy
“Don´t ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance and my kindness for weakness”. (Unknown)
“I´m not confident around compliments or being celebrated, and I am not comfortable with the thought of envy, which some people thrive on” (Rachel Weisz).
Reflecting upon the word “envy” and its meaning brought up a few personal memories where someone had accused me of being jealous. I have never been a jealous person, but must admit that people sometimes behave in a way thinking they´d be entitled to being envied – which, of course, is not anything else but bragging. These people may also have a tendency to be fake and to let other people down, talking behind your back, two-faced, pretending to be your friend while the truth is far from that. Accusing other people of being something, in this context envious, is called projection in psychological terminology. Before judging other people, therefore, each one of us should take a look in the mirror.
Envy, often linked with the green color, can also be transformed into something positive:
ENVY – The Story of a Stray Dog and a Homeless Girl (http://igg.me/at/envy) is a short film where Nico, a homeless girl, is disappointed by humankind due to continuous lies and assaulting. She is found by Envy, a stray dog that leads her to her pack where she finds shelter, food and above all, love. Despite of being a dark and dramatic piece, the message of ENVY is hope and love. Sometimes, in our darkest hours, dogs can be our greatest companions. The film also points out the fact that sharing in the struggle of survival can lead to great results. (Source: ENVY – The Story of a Stray Dog and a Homeless Girl. Quoted 16.3.2014).
Kindness, on the other hand, is a value in many cultures and religions. Acts of kindness do not only benefit receivers, but also the giver whereas feelings of contentment and relaxation are released and physiological results of the process. Neither does a real act of kindness ask for anything in return. Think about a life-event or a personal experience where you selflessly helped someone, or where someone helped you. What kind of sensations did that memory bring to your mind?
There is always room for kindness around us. Perhaps you have heard about The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, which is an internationally recognized non-profit organization founded upon the belief in kindness, dedicated to providing resources, tools, and encouragement for various acts of kindness. The foundation aims at inspiring people to acts of kindness, to change the world through one-act of kindness at a time, to educate people, to involve and to let people share their personal stories about kindness. (Source: The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. Quoted 16.3.2014).
Personally I got acquainted with the foundation through no one else but a kind friend.
“Your greatness is measured by your kindness; your education and intellect by your modesty; your ignorance is betrayed by your suspicions and prejudices, and your real caliber is measured by the consideration and tolerance you have for others”. (William J.H. Boetcker).