Being Jealous of the Success of Others

Long ago, there was an elderly monk whose legs were always in pain from arthritis. Whenever his legs hurt, he needed a massage to ease the pain. He would always ask his senior disciple to massage his left leg and his junior disciple his right leg. When his senior disciple attended to him, the elderly monk would sing praises for the junior disciple, saying how good he was at easing the pain in his right leg. Upon hearing this, the senior disciple was not pleased. Conversely, whenever the junior disciple massaged the elderly monk’s right leg, he would praise the senior disciple for the wonderful job he had done with his left leg. Likewise, this would make the junior disciple unhappy.

One day, when the junior disciple was out on an errand, the senior disciple thought to himself, “If I break master’s right leg then my junior will have nothing to show off about.” When the junior disciple came home and saw the broken leg, he knew right away that it was the doing of the senior disciple. Infuriated, he broke his master’s left leg in retaliation. As a result of his disciples’ jealousy of each other, the master suffered.

Being jealous of others’ success is a common affliction. When some people see a person trip and fall, they laugh and take joy in that person’s suffering. When seeing others gain fortune and high status, some people become sour and jealous. However, we should understand that jealousy is a double-edged knife. Not only does it harm others, it cuts ourselves.

Due to our dislike for losing and our narrow-mindedness, we are jealous of other’s successes. We do not understand that we can share in the glory of another’s success. For instance, if someone opens a department store, we can go there to browse and shop. If a person owns a television, we can watch shows with them. If a friend is promoted to a high position, we can ask them for help when we need it. If a neighbor starts a business, we can seek employment there. When someone we know becomes famous, we can proudly tell others that we both come from the same town, or that we were classmates. So why should we be troubled by others achieving success?

It is often difficult to be friends with people become envious of success. If our employer is narrow-minded, he or she will dislike us if we become successful. People with loving minds are happy to see others succeed, and those who are broad-minded are able to share in another’s achievements. We should think of how parents are not jealous of their children and only care for nurturing them or how teachers are not jealous of their students because their duty to educate them.

Therefore, we should take joy in the success of others, praise them for their abilities, appreciate the beauty in life, and let acts of kindness we see be known. We should take pride in the achievements and glory of others as though they were our own. In opening up our hearts, we can live much happier lives.