Rich Man, Poor Man

Bill Whittle in this video explains, using charts and graphs and a graphic example, the richness of the poor in America, and the root of envy.


I hope the readers who are willing to believe me, if I confess that pride and lust and wrath and sloth and gluttony are besetting sins of mine will also believe me if I say I have felt a twinge of envy exactly once in my life, and under the conditions Mr Whittle mentions — when I was denied a gift or an honor to which I had no right, but which I craved. So it is the only sin for which I can generate neither sympathy or empathy, because it is hard for me to imagine. This is not through any saintliness of character, but merely through a satanic indifference to my fellow man. I am too coldhearted to care about others enough to care if they are above or below me in wealth or status.

People tend to believe confessions more quickly than vainglory, merely because a confession is a statement against one’s own interest, and vainglory is as natural as breathing. I am not boasting, or if I am, it is like the boasting of a man with five fatal diseases that he has no symptoms of a sixth.

So make of my non-boast what you will: but for the first time, Mr Whittle allows me to understand why I will never understand socialism. I don’t understand envy, which is the emotion behind it.

Of all the seven deadly sins, pride is the worse and the prince of sins, but envy is the least pleasing to oneself, so in that way is the most diabolical. The lustful man enjoys a moment of pleasure, as does the glutton, and the slothful man sleeps in on Sunday, and the proud man admires his image in the mirror as much as the avaricious man enjoys counting his horded gold. But the envious man merely makes himself unhappy for no reason and for no gain, and sometimes over things no human power can cure.

If you are envious of another man’s car or paramour, I suppose you would acquire a like car yourself, or seduce his pretty girlfriend, but if you are envious of his looks or talent or family or fortune or fate? Or his race or his sex? As Mr Whittle points out, all these things are unearned, undeserved, free gifts, graces, and so when another man receives more, it cuts at one’s sense of worth.

Envy destroys the one thing that makes life joyful, and that one thing is gratitude. The man who is grateful is happy, and there is no room for envy in a heart that gives thanks.

Seems simple, doesn’t it?