“The Envious Person” is a Swahili short story that conveys the negative consequences of envy and the importance of appreciating what one has. Here is the story translated into English:
There was a person who had a comfortable life and abundant possessions. They had a large house, numerous livestock, and a fertile farm. However, this person had a heart filled with envy because of what others had.
As they observed the belongings of their neighbors, jealousy started to consume them. They longed to have the same things and became extremely upset when they saw others succeeding.
Due to their envy, this person began to lose joy and peace. They felt discontented and developed an insatiable desire to possess everything they saw in others.
One day, this person encountered a wise old man. The old man asked why they were so bitter and troubled. After hearing their story, the old man imparted a valuable lesson.
The wise old man explained that envy served no purpose and only brought suffering. He told them that everyone has their own blessings and challenges. Comparing one’s life to others’ does not bring true happiness and peace.
Upon hearing these words, the person began to reflect. They learned that they should appreciate what they already had and recognize that true happiness does not come from possessing many things but lies within.
They decided to make a change in their life. They started to express gratitude for what they possessed and stopped comparing themselves to others. They realized that true peace and happiness come from acknowledging the value of what they already had and learning to enjoy what they were given.
Therefore, the story of “The Envious Person” teaches the lesson of not comparing oneself to others and appreciating what one has. It reminds us of the importance of gratitude and learning to find joy in what we possess instead of being envious of what others have.