It’s healthy to be content, but envy rots the bones.
I recently attended the Youth 2009 Entrepreneurship Convention at PWTC. Various entrepreneurs below 30 shared their experiences on how they started out small and wanted to make a change, not only in their life but to the Malaysian community as a whole. Their motivation for the betterment of society drove them to heights they could only have dreamed of before. They now not only bring in revenues for their own companies by the millions but have appeared in the pages of many leading magazines both locally and worldwide.
A solid 7 hours of listening to entrepreneur after entrepreneur trying to motivate their audience to make a difference where it matters should have been enough to get me starting my own business almost immediately after the convention; sell nasi lemak, start my own show, create my own clothing line, post my songs on YouTube…
All I could think about was what I was doing with my life. What was I contributing to my country. And then I started comparing myself with the 20-something entrepreneurs that have made it in the business world. There was one guy who made 1 million revenue when he was only 17. 17!!! For b’gosh sakes! When I was 17 I was busy failing my driver’s test 4 times. These people chased their dreams while I was chasing…uh…not important stuff. *cough*
It got me thinking, am I spending my given time and resources wisely? What have I got to show for all my dreaming of making a difference in Malaysia? Am I all-talk and no show? Don’t I have what it takes to lead an international organisation too? I’m going to be 21 this year, whose life have I changed? I can’t compete with a 22-year-old Guess model who won The Firm, represented Malaysia for rock climbing, played tennis with Nicole David, appeared on the cover of Men’s Health magazine and organised a convention that included half the youth population in KL. Am I going anywhere? Is there ANY hope for Sumie? Then I started planning my self-pity party. Sadly, though I invited many, no one showed up. Thank God for family&friends who are honest enough to tell me to grow up. Realization hit me that I was inspired by the people I met but I was pursuing their dreams instead of doing my own soul-searching and figuring out what *I* wanted to achieve.
Where there is envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. ~James 3:16~
Why does God feel so strongly against envy? Why did He say “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours stuff.”? Why does God describe envy as bone cancer; an incurable disease that leads to certain death?
The opposite of envy, I would derive, is contentment; being satisfied with who you are and what you have and where you, personally, are going.
“…Be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you nor forsake you.”~ Hebrews 13:5~
So maybe I’m not cut-out to be that entrepreneur that would be swimming in agajabillion dollars and showing up on Oprah. I think can live with that. After all, I am 21. Life is just beginning.
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even ONE life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to succeed.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~