Quotes about envy

A collection of quotes on the topic of envy.

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Archilochus photo

„Jealousy has no power over me,
Nor do I envy a god his work,
And I do not burn to rule.
Such things have no
Fascination for my eyes.“

—  Archilochus Ancient Greek lyric poet -680 - -645 BC

Fragments
Variant: The affairs of gold-laden Gyges do not interest me
zealousy of the gods has never seized me nor anger
at their deeds. But I have no love for great tyranny
for its deeds are very far from my eyes.
Context: These golden matters
Of Gyges and his treasuries
Are no concern of mine.
Jealousy has no power over me,
Nor do I envy a god his work,
And I do not burn to rule.
Such things have no
Fascination for my eyes.

William Wilberforce photo

„Christianity is not satisfied with producing merely the specious guise of virtue. She requires the substantial reality, which may stand the scrutinizing eye of that Being “who searches the heart.” Meaning therefore that the Christian should live and breathe; in an atmosphere, as it were, of benevolence, she forbids whatever can tend to obstruct its diffusion or vitiate its purity. It is on this principle that Emulation is forbidden: for, besides that this passion almost insensibly degenerates into envy, and that it derives its origin chiefly from pride and a desire of self-exaltation; how can we easily love our neighbour as ourselves, if we consider him at the same time our rival, and are intent upon surpassing him in the pursuit of whatever is the subject of our competition?
Christianity, again, teaches us not to set our hearts on earthly possessions and earthly honours; and thereby provides for our really loving, or even cordially forgiving, those who have been more successful than ourselves in the attainment of them, or who have even designedly thwarted us in the pursuit. “Let the rich,” says the Apostle, “rejoice in that he is brought low.” How can he who means to attempt, in any degree, to obey this precept, be irreconcilably hostile towards any one who may have been instrumental in his depression?
Christianity also teaches us not to prize human estimation at a very high rate; and thereby provides for the practice of her injunction, to love from the heart those who, justly or unjustly, may have attacked our reputation, and wounded our character. She commands not the shew, but the reality of meekness and gentleness; and by thus taking away the aliment of anger and the fomenters of discord, she provides for the maintenance of peace, and the restoration of good temper among men, when it may have sustained a temporary interruption.
It is another capital excellence of Christianity, that she values moral attainments at a far higher rate than intellectual acquisitions, and proposes to conduct her followers to the heights of virtue rather than of knowledge. On the contrary, most of the false religious systems which have prevailed in the world, have proposed to reward the labour of their votary, by drawing aside the veil which concealed from the vulgar eye their hidden mysteries, and by introducing him to the knowledge of their deeper and more sacred doctrines.“

—  William Wilberforce English politician 1759 - 1833

Source: Real Christianity (1797), p. 257.

Humphry Davy photo
Max Scheler photo
Jodie Foster photo

„Attacking the rich is not envy. It is self defense. The hoarding of wealth is the cause of poverty. The rich aren’t just indifferent to poverty; they create it and maintain it.“

—  Jodie Foster American actor, film director and producer 1962

Incorrectly attributed to Foster, according to snopes.com https://www.snopes.com/attacking-the-rich/
Misattributed

Camille Paglia photo
Herodotus photo

„It is better to be envied than pitied.“

—  Herodotus, book Histories

Book 3, Ch. 52
The Histories
Variant: How much better a thing it is to be envied than to be pitied.

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„People may show jealousy, but hide their envy.“

—  Mason Cooley American academic 1927 - 2002

City Aphorisms, Eleventh Selection (1993)

Theodore Roosevelt photo

„I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.“

—  Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919

Address in Des Moines, Iowa (4 November 1910)
1910s

Nassim Nicholas Taleb photo
Osamu Tezuka photo
Anton LaVey photo
Evelyn Waugh photo
John Steinbeck photo
Ernst Bloch photo
Michael Moorcock photo
Francois Rabelais photo

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