Beware of Envy! This "Deadly Sin" is one of the quickest to destroying society and sometimes it takes only one with a voice to begin its warpath. Let me clarify a few things first before I explain. There's a difference between Jealousy and Envy. Jealousy is when you want something good that another has. This is a minor issue and can actually lead to people working to obtain that good properly. However, if you let it consume you, it becomes Envy which seeks the destruction of that good simply because you cannot have it. Does that definition make it clear why envy is evil? Because it seeks to destroy Good! The destruction of Good is never good and when you throw in such a selfish reason, Envy earns its place among the most despicable crimes in the human heart.
Perhaps something that needs to be fixed in our minds is the idea of equality. People use "Equality" to try and justify their Envy and therefore destroy what is good. Throw away what idea you have about equality and reform it if necessary. Life can never have true equality because of four things, circumstance, free will, talent, and the presence of evil.
Let's take a look at the game of Settlers of Catan. The game is relatively simple in concept. You claim an area which give you resources if the corresponding number is rolled. However, multiple players cannot claim the same spot because each "settlement" must be at least 2 lengths away from each other. There are good numbers, but even they are not rolled all of the time. An 11 has 2 chances of being rolled, but sometimes luck causes it to be rolled more than a 6 which has 5 chances of being rolled. This would mean the resources on an 11 would be claimed faster than the one on a 6. That is the idea of risk. It's never a guarantee, but the people who prepare for it will benefit as opposed to the people who build only on the 6. That's because there is timing, luck, and individual choices.
We hear a lot that "All Men are Created Equal." This is true in one aspect and false in probably every other case. The idea is that is true is that every man's life is priceless. Every man, woman, and child should have a chance to live and make choices to try and better their situation. However, the idea of liberty also includes that we are responsible for our choices and so must live with the consequences, hopefully so that we won't ever make that bad choice again. If society believes it can always make the same bad choice and get away with it, then it will never stop making that choice. Look at the celebrities who escape jail for drunk driving. They still do it and it's because we allowed them to escape their just punishment!
Now let's consider our talents. I can play the piano with both hands, but my older brother is physically unable to do the same and that is how he was born. I can write these letters but he can't even write his name unless someone guides the pen for him. However, I can't bring people together the same way he does. I can't lift people's spirits like he cheers people up. We are very different people and that is a result of birth as well as circumstance. The only thing we are equal in are in the fact that we share some genetics and a name and our parents love us both very much. But do you something? The idea of society is that we take our different talents and use them together to obtain progress.
So I've already commented that Envy is a root cause of evil. After all, if everything that is good is destroyed, then what good is left? When Good is taken away, that means it is unobtainable which means there can never be used to reach progress. If governments are to be involved, it should be to preserve the good, not take it away.
Let me show you how equality in all things is actually horrible. I think the best example of inequality that we actually depend on is the traffic light. Representing "equality" is the stop sign. Can you imagine how horrible it would be if every traffic light turned into a four way stop sign? That shouldn't be too difficult thanks to the existence of black outs that force the traffic lights to indeed become four-way stop signs. As a light, it can take 3 seconds to 2 minutes to cross the intersection. At a stop sign, you can never cross the intersection in 3 seconds unless you break the law and never stop. Instead, as the number of cars trying to use that intersection increase, it can take 5 or even 20 minutes to cross that intersection and you would have to repeat over and over again. With a traffic light, some people have to wait and others don't have to, but that allows people to get through faster and without stopping.
Want another example? It's easier to make a Prius get a fuel economy of only 12 miles per gallon than to make a Hummer get 50 miles per gallon. So if we were to make them "equal" then the Prius would have to suffer, but that would in turn raise gas prices to very high limits and a horrible environment. Again, it's easier to make a car accelerate slower rather than faster. Now if you shout out and say, "but those cars meet different needs and can never be the same even if you adjust one or two qualities," then I can reply that is exactly my point. There is far too much to change as well as reasons why things are the way they are. If you claim that the doctor next door earns 10x more money than you, perhaps you are neglecting that his insurance costs 20x more than you or perhaps his daughter's health condition means his expenses are 500x more than yours. There is just too much to consider such as perhaps his job really is 10x more important than yours or at least requires a certain combination of talent and ethics that is far more rare than yours.
Many attempts we try to make things equal only lead to more inequality, such as reverse-sexism or reverse-racism (which really are just sexism and racism). As a result, it's an unobtainable task when done without virtue being the source. When people act like whiny brats and try to force the government be like a bad parent, then no one is really satisfied. There are some things the government can do to make things right, but the real source of the problem are the conflicting personalities and vices we decide to let grow. However, if we encourage virtue to be practiced, which is easier in a smaller village than a big city, then there is hope that everyone can be happy. At the moment, the real reason I see anyone wanting a city to grow is for more tax revenue, but that's an issue of Greed and so a different topic. But how about we start preaching virtues in our schools again? That is the first step in restructuring our society for the best. When we start implementing virtues again, then society will thrive.
N. D. Moharo