“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
It all seems pretty clear cut, doesn’t it? Don’t ‘covet’ stuff that you don’t have. But do we really know what coveting even is? Well, its pretty much looking at other people’s stuff: Other people’s possessions, friends, skills, money, lifestyles, jobs, family, past etc and wishing it was yours! But that’s only the half of it. Coveting takes that original want or desire and gears it up a notch. It turns the bend and speeds down many a hill by going from a simple observation of someone else’s ‘whatever’ to quite monstrously hatching an often subconscious plan to get that ‘whatever’ for them self. Whether by stealing it, inheriting by elimination, outdoing – with regards to gaining the sense of accomplishment, pride or social standing associated with a particular something or any other un-kind measure.
Take for example wishing you had friends like somebody else – so badly – that you compromise your values and self worth to be accepted, or you spread rumors and gossip to displace the most popular person in a friendship group. Whatever the ‘wish so badly’ , it becomes a nasty piece of coveting when it sabotages ‘the somebody’ else from their ability to retain their own possession, friend, job, dignity etc.
We are all incredibly prone to behaving like this. In one instant our eyes of admiration toward someone or something are yanked viscously by our twisted memories, false impressions and un-true conditioning from role models and the media, the next minute we are turned savages, stripping all good sense and moral and pillaging no matter what is lost or who is hurt along the way. We have become numero uno at all costs – and quite often, we have no idea that is what we have done.
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