Leader Trends: Do We Promote Jealousy?

By | April 23, 2019

[April 23, 2019] My wife Nancy was watching a news program a couple of days ago. Being interviewed was a new Congresswoman from New York City; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She was promoting policies that raised the income tax of the “rich” by as much as 90%. In the background, you could hear loud, excited cheering from the audience. My wife said that the New York Congresswoman was promoting jealousy to gather more followers.

“As iron is eaten away by rust, so the envious are consumed by their own passion.” – Antisthenes, ancient Greek philosopher

Yes, leaders do promote jealousy – especially in Western nations – but it has not always been that way. Leaders would do well to take the lessons of the ancients. When we resent the possessions, achievements, or status of another, we are jealous. This emotion is powerful, and the ability to resist the innate temptation to act upon it is strong. The ancients wrote that by resisting jealousy, we gain control of our persons and ensure our future.

Jealousy is a departure from responsibility and is the path to sin and ruin. There is a clear propensity for humans to be jealous of others. It can either propel us through a burning passion for doing good or it can lead to our destruction socially, economically, and even the dissolution of our family or death.

Proverbs 27:4 Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” This famous quote from the Bible shows us that peoples long ago learned its destructive power. Those lessons echo today. When leaders encourage jealousy of what has been gained by others, they are not moral and are making a mockery of their leadership position.

Jealousy in Capitalist, Judeo-Christian nations is channeled in a positive way through the idea that if you work hard enough, you will achieve anything of your desires. The light of goodness will shine upon you. It is up to you to reject jealousy and not the responsibility of the randomness of a centralized government or unfair leader. That is what distinguishes free nations from others and free men from enslaved men.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

17 thoughts on “Leader Trends: Do We Promote Jealousy?

  1. JT Patterson

    You can feel envy about something you don’t have but want, but you feel jealousy over something you already have but are afraid of losing.

    1. Roger Yellowmule

      A good way to make a distinction between ‘envy’ and ‘jealousy.’ Thanks JT>

  2. Willie Shrumburger

    It’s no fun to feel envy or jealousy because both make you feel inadequate. Envy is when you want what someone else has, but jealousy is when you’re worried someone’s trying to take what you have. If you want your neighbor’s new convertible, you feel envy. If she takes your husband for a ride, you feel jealousy.

  3. Greg Heyman

    “Our envy always lasts longer than the happiness of those we envy.”- François de la Rochefoucauld

    1. Shawn C. Stolarz

      Smart guy. I like the quote. Keep ’em coming our way, Greg.

  4. Eric Coda

    Jealousy is unhealthy, it prevents us from moving forward, and it fixates us on what others have, instead of what we want to work for.

  5. AutisticTechie

    People who feel inadequate, insecure, or overly dependent tend to be more jealous than others.

  6. Anita

    To handle jealousy you must:
    1. Understand the emotion of jealousy.
    2. Tackle your feelings.
    3. Get to the root of your jealousy.

    1. Nick Lighthouse

      Not many people get this idea very well.

  7. Roger Yellowmule

    Thanks for pushing the idea that ‘jealously’ is a dangerous emotion that must be controlled if we are to be good folks.

    1. Wilson Cox

      Jealousy can ruin your peace and end relationships; it can also be a signal to you that it’s time to make a change.

  8. Len Jakosky

    Love your article today, Gen. Satterfield. Lots to say about this topic. It is interesting that you will find most of what is written on this subject in the texts of religions and not so much in modern philosophically educated people.

  9. Fred Weber

    Political leaders in the US and other Western nations are doing their best to promote jealousy because it’s not only easy but they personally gain from the fallout. They garner votes and followers who are immature and ungrateful for what they have. Just look at any large city. The citizens think that by taking from the “rich” or “powerful” then they are just being on their moral superiority stand.

  10. Janna Faulkner

    Wow, nice argument against jealousy. I too have seen jealousy rip apart families, tear down businesses, and do a host of destruction. We must resist it.

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