People were created with an inborn sense of curiosity, which drives them to seek information about everything around them. The gift of curiosity has produced inventions and discoveries that add up to a life of comfort and convenience for modern man unparalleled in ancient times. Unfortunately, the need to know has also produced a media genre that reveals the lifestyles of the rich and famous to the masses of less hi-profile denizens of planet Earth. The spotlight on luxury and surface beauty with which these celebrities surround themselves arouses feelings of envy and dissatisfaction in the minds of their admirers.
A superficial observation creates false impressions. Failure to delve deeply into a situation makes one feel that the external smiles of the "beautiful people" express internal joy. Nothing could be further from the truth. A closer look at the lives of celebrities will reveal that they -- like everyone else -- have ups and downs -- joy and sadness in their lives. Many of the problems even stem directly from the wealth and fame commoners envy.
When one gazes through a clear glass at the world outside one sees all that others possess that one may lack. Comparison-shopping creates unhappiness. One way to avoid the trap of envy is to look in the mirror rather than through the window. Look back at yourself -- and see and appreciate all the gifts that you truly possess. An unhappy person tends to feel that everyone else in the world is satisfied and only he or she is missing the perfect life. It is a false impression created by envy.
DID YOU KNOW THAT
The name of the Holy Day of the Giving of the Torah is both ShAbuot (weeks) and ShEbuot(vows).
The name Shabuot - weeks - signifies the 7 weeks that we count from the second day of Pesah until the day of Shabuot.
The name Shebout - vows - represents the two promises accepted at the time. First, the promise of the Jewish people to "do and to listen" - to perform and to study - the laws of the Torah. Second, is the vow of G-d to never exchange the Jewish people for another nation.
[Source: Matteh Moshe, Paragraph 690]
CONSIDER THIS FOR A MINUTE
Everyone has the ability to be in a state of happiness. Do not allow another person's having more than you rob you of your happiness.
Ahavat Mesharim, p. 138
Text Copyright © 2003 Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Project Genesis, Inc.