Ignus zelus

Somewhere inside each of us lives this tiny, evil being who WANTS to grow. Maybe he’s residue from the days when we had to compete with others for limited resources, I don’t know. I do know that it doesn’t take much to make him larger. He feeds upon our emotions; he feeds upon our insecurities, our immaturity, our lack of objectivity, our egos. No one is immune. The Church Fathers were right to make it one of the “Seven Deadlies.”

Since I moved to Colorado and “came out” as an artist, I’ve twice been the object of envy. And while I do not want to retell the tales, the experiences were bad enough that I’m not very interested in being an artist any more. Of course, envy leads to envy and in those imbroglios, I found myself feeling envious of the two women who were envious of me. It was all awful, sickening, futile, stupid.

Envy’s repercussions are those of a stone thrown into a pond. The situations in which I found myself affected everyone around us. People chose sides. There was gossip and bitterness and suspicion. Friendships that might have formed will now never form between me and “allies” on the “other” side.

I think envy is the most destructive emotion. Whether we are the object of the envy of others or others are the object of ours doesn’t matter. It’s a soul-killer. Envy can turn basically nice people into “mean and vicious killers,” and a neutral situation in which there is possibility for growth ends up in flames, the scorched earth.


5 thoughts on “Ignus zelus

  1. Since being retired I am no longer really confronted with these sort of people, but I knew them well enough, especially when I was working. One special case always insisted telling me “I am not a computer freak”. The case was clear, I was, because I could work with the computer with no problem. She was having a “nervous breakdown” in the meanwhile. It bordered almost on blackmail to make me feel sorry for her.

    • Oh god yes. I taught a “friend” to use computers and when a job came along that required that skill, she literally bad-mouthed and strong-armed me out of the running. I felt bad because my friend wasn’t a friend and, of course, because I wanted the job, but I also thought, “She has to be her for the rest of her life. That’s punishment enough.” I’m absurdly gullible and equally generous which means I’m easily steam-rolled. But now? I don’t have to play. 🙂

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