Envy is a feeling of sorrow at another’s good fortune and joy at the evil which befalls him; as if we ourselves were injured by the good and benefited by the evil that comes to him.
So, let’s say the rule is that you are supposed to wear a uniform to work, and so are your co-workers. And let’s say that one of your co-workers has been getting away with not wearing the correct uniform to work. That’s totally not fair, right? It’s an injustice that needs to be fixed, and you are just the right person to go whining to the boss to point out that he is failing in his duties as a manager in upholding corporate rules and regulations. And the boss listens to you and decides that he has no choice but to make your co-worker comply with the dress code. Congratulations. You have scored such a high moral victory. (Yes, that is sarcasm.)
Because, let’s suppose that this coworker has a long white beard and long white hair (not against the rules), and let’s suppose he wears wire-rimmed glasses (also, within regulations), and let’s suppose the alternative outfit he wears is a red, fuzzy suit which makes him look just like Santa Claus. And let’s suppose the reason he got away with breaking the rules is because everybody, from all your co-workers and the bosses to people who live on his route, especially little children, thinks he is the most wonderful man on the planet and feel happier for a few minutes whenever they see him.
And whenever people see you, they walk away with a sour taste in their mouth, because you don’t know how to create joy, so you steal it.
I hope you are happy. But thousands of people are sad, including people like me who read this article and now have a sour taste in their mouth.