Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Eighth Deadly Sin

For various reasons, I've been trying to categorize something that I think is inadequately defined, at least in English. I mean, there are concepts that other languages have words for that English lacks, and this is one of them, but I don't know of another language's word for what I mean either.

What I have come up with is: Resentfulness. This is different from envy or jealousy, which I think both imply a desire to have something one lacks. Resentfulness doesn't mean you want the thing others have, you just are pissed off that they have it.

It's also different from the overused German schadenfreude. That is about being happy when others fail. Resentfulness is exactly the opposite: to be angry that others succeed.

I think it's just as soul-rotting as all these other things. It makes it easy to sit and steam about other people being happy. All it does is produce negativity. It makes you more unhappy, and does nothing to improve your situation. And the obvious solution -- to make those happy people unhappy -- does nothing but make things worse, not better.

So one must learn to confess, address, and come to terms with the fact that, as every parent has said to every teenager in history, life is not fair.