Most people would agree that envy is a negative trait. Yes, there is a
special admiration for the scholarship that some are fortunate to achieve
in their spiritual pursuits that arouses healthy competitive jealousy--"kin-
at sofrim"-- but that is the exception not the rule in the world of envy.
Most people are like horses. When a horse drinks it pounds its foot. Rabbi
Meir of Parmishlan explained that the horse sees its own reflection in the
water and thinks there is another horse drinking what he himself will need
and so the horse stomps its foot to chase away his competitor and to insure
that the river will have enough water to quench his thirst. Really silly
isn't he? The river certainly has enough water for him and thousands of
others like him.
Well, G-d has plenty of everything for everyone. What one person has, has
no bearing on what another is lacking. His distribution system is so
perfect that He gives everyone exactly what HE OR SHE need to do HIS OR HER
special job in His army. Michtav M'Eliyahu compares this to eyeglasses.
Just as eyeglasses made for someone else are not suitable for you, so too
all the other "things"--the material tools--supplied by our Creator are
made to suit each individual's prescription. Resheet Hochma says that when
a person envies another's beauty, strength, or wealth they are
demonstrating a lack of acceptance of what the Almighty decided THEY should
Today, when that demon hits you and he tells you that "It's not fair" --
stop! Consider that you don't want to wear eyeglasses made to someone
else's specific prescription. Then remember that the "eye doctor" on high
is the best suited to give everyone what he or she needs to be truly
successful and truly happy. It only takes a minute but it will contribute
greatly to your satisfaction quotient for years to come.