Envy and Jealousy

beautiful green and brown eye in close up photography

Fandango’s provocative question is: “Is jealousy purely a negative and potentially destructive emotion, or does jealousy have any value as a motivator to drive people to improve themselves?” This really comes down to semantics and what we mean by jealousy. If by the term you mean a possessiveness of things, and especially of people – then it is a destructive thing. To be jealous of one’s partner presupposes “ownership.” Trust and partnership should ideally be the foundations of a relationship, not control.

This does not mean we aren’t hurt if said loved one goes elsewhere for affection, but that is their choice. The third party, however, did not “steal” your love interest. So in that way, Fandango’s “motivator” point may come into play. We should be the best us – if we want to be in a relationship with the best them. But again, this is not ownership, it is making oneself desirable, not the controlling a partner’s life.

If on the other hand by jealousy we mean covetousness or envy, then it still has negative connotations as it can distort our values. To begrudge others possessions (here we are speaking of material things, not people) or position then we are being unfair as they too have aspirations and needs. If we desire another’s attainments and do so without real effort to achieve our own, then it is wrong. While many things in life are finite: gold, etc. They are still abundant enough to be sought after. So in this way Fandango’s “motivator” still comes into play. But empty “envy” which “wants,” but does not seek to achieve; that wishes misfortune on others for our own satisfaction or ends – this is wrong.

By the way, honour and accomplishment are not finite. There is enough honour to go around for those who are honourable.

All in all, wanting to gain something is a motivating force, but it should never be done with malice or at the expense of another.


In One Basket

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch”

Henhouse words and maxims

With some wisdom – sage attached

Such a simple little item

Not just scrambled, poached, or fried

But a treasure chest of wisdom

Full of truths – that can be relied





Time Telling

Woman, Middle-Aged, Mischievous, Happy


If you’re conversing with a lady

And courtship is your quest

And the topic of intentions is muted

Be careful of what you suggest.


And if it then arises

That her age – is by you to be guessed

No matter how dainty her tone

Remember it’s really a test.


So here is my advice – well reasoned

The thing that you should say –

Start with the figure most likely (like-lay)

Then five years take away.


To be safe then subtract yet another –

Year or two or three

She may then accuse you – of trying

To seduce her by mere flattery.


But the result – I assure you –

The far better outcome it will be

Than mindlessly blurting out

The age that you think you see.



In the Sky

Conifer, Aesthetic, Branching Out, Climb, Wood, Forest


Little boy up in a tree

Upwards –  struggling to climb high

His desire to be completely free

His wish to touch the sky


Little boy – grown to be a man

Carried aloft as rotor-blades spin

He shall soon by descend again

New found fears hidden deep within


Little boy – yet older now

Too old for climbing trees

Happy with both feet on the ground

That little boy – is me




It is curious how life’s journey moulds us.  From childhood innocence – wanting to fly, to the adult realities of danger and mortality, to finding the settled balance of contentment with the situations you find yourself in.  Having been child, warrior, husband, widower, teacher, and friend – my journey has had, as the poem suggests, literally and figuratively – ups and downs.  But My journey is not yet over, and I wait for its new adventures to begin.



Her Every Command

Desert Fox, Fennec Fox, Zoo, Animal, Small, Ears

Image by WagnerAnne from Pixabay 

“Honey do” and Honey don’t

Every word – to be obeyed

Even if contradictory

Leaving you dismayed


You may think you’ve heard it all before

Same old thing – on another day

Have you listened close enough

To think why it might be that way?


Listen carefully – Don’t just hear

Find the meaning in the things she may say

Her words may not be about the things you do

But in how you understand, and love each day




Shape Me

person making pot

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash


We who have a calling,

A mission of which we’re sure,

May think that ensconced at home

Is more than we can endure


“What of my great mission?”

A world I’m supposed to change

To do it from behind closed doors

Feels unnaturally strange


But what is my purpose?

What am I meant to be?

Is serving God and others

More that just about me?


Lord use this time of seclusion

To mould me as you see fit

Let me think of the greater good

And help me in this time to do my bit


It’s not about grand gestures

Or the numbers that hear my voice

But those I can keep safe from home

To “love my neighbour” is my choice.


Heavenly Father, shape me to serve you.  Make me a vessel of encouragement, a servant through prayer.  Lord instill me wisdom, and humility.  Lord watch over and protect all your people. Amen.



“But now, LORD, you are our father. We are the clay, and you are our potter. All of us are the work of your hand (Isaiah 64:8).” [see Isaiah 29:16; Jeremiah 18:1-9; Romans 9:14-24 as well]


Deeper Understanding

The wizard led his most able student through the southern wood.  At last in the midst of a grove of ancient trees they came upon a mirror-like pool.  The magician opened his travelling bag and withdrew a horn cup.  He stooped down and drew some water and handed it to the lad to drink.

As the apprentice sipped the cool water, the mage said, “It is said that the pool is as deep as sea, though it has but little surface.  Drinking of these enchanted waters will allow those who know of them to see deep truths and have even deeper thoughts.”

“Master, if it is so deep, how does it reflect back so?” the boy questioned.

“Why would it not be so?” the wizard asked. “In a shallow pool you can see the stones on the bottom, and the fish darting about.  Can you not?”

“Yes, I suppose you can, ” the boy said, mentally conjuring such an image.

“And a piece of glass is transparent, but if painted on its back, does the darkness not cause it to become a mirror?” the magician coxed.

“Yes, it does,” the boy said. “I can see now that the water must be dark, but does that mean it is necessarily deep?”

The wizard again pulled a horn cup from his traveling bag and handed it to the lad. “Now draw some water from the pool.  Is it opaque or transparent?”

“It is clear.  But that alone does not indicate the pool’s depth,” the boy answered.

“How then might you determine the depth?” the wizard asked.

“I might tie a weight to the end of a rope, and then drop it into the waters to see how much rope it takes to meet the bottom,” the apprentice said thoughtfully.

“Do you have such a rope?” the magician challenged.

“No Master, I do not.”

“What else might you do then to answer your query?” the wise old man asked.

The boy thought for a moment, then without a word, he stepped into the pool and was submerged to his waist.

“It is only a few feet deep,” the boy said triumphantly.

“Did I not tell you that drinking from the pool would give you deep thoughts and insights?  Well done, Lad.”


Mirror #writephoto





When You Get Full of Yourself


King Solomon image: http://practicalcounseling.com

I have spent much of my life in education and in academia.  It seems to be a occupational hazard to become pedantic and intellectually arrogant in such surroundings.  Debate replaces conversation, and “being right” takes too much importance.

I am often guilty of this. I try to remain humble, as such attitudes are far from “winning friends and influencing people.” Yet, I do often fail.  This is especially true when dealing with my nearest and dearest. I get so caught up in “teacher mode” that I forget what is important is the relationship not the point under discussion.  I really do apologise to all I have done this with, especially my wife and family.

King Solomon, arguably the wisest man in history gives us a great lesson point in this regard.  It is one we should always heed and remember.

“I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind!  I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind . What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.  I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief (Ecclesiastes 1:12- 18).”

While there is much to value in education, knowledge, and even wisdom, they pale in the face of relationships with God and your fellow man. In one’s relationship with God, they risk building barriers of vanity and pride.  In one’s relationship with others, it causes disagreement, division, and the arrogance associated with it creates hurt.

Let us seek to be wise in our wisdom. Let us make knowledge, and its application what it is intended to be: a tool, not an end in itself.

Paul reminds us in this vein,  If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing (I Corinthians 13: 1-3). Italics mine.

When we find that we are full of ourselves, let us remember to LOVE FIRST!