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JEALOUSY is one of those dangerous devices that hinder families, communities, companies and nations from progressing socially, economically and politically. Jealousy is like a cancer in the fiber of society.

It is actually an anti social vice which fuels betrayal and treachery. A betrayer is someone who becomes disloyal to the point of exposing other people’s weaknesses with an intention of delivering them to an enemy by treachery. Betrayers usually expose other people’s weaknesses with the aim of destroying their professional, business or relational life.

Betrayal is a consequence of hidden competitive jealousy. Many families, communities and nations are destroyed because of infightings that are usually fuelled by naked jealousy. Farlex’s Dictionary defines jealousy as ‘showing extreme cupidity; painfully desirous of another’s advantages’.

Extreme cupidity is excessive desire to acquire more things than one needs or deserves. Cupidity is extreme greed for material wealth. Jealousy is usually mingled with cupidity, the inordinate desire for positions or power.

Jealousy is also the attitude which is always suspicious or unduly suspicious or fearful of being displaced by a rival or perceived rival. Jealousy usually begets fear and distrust in families, communities and nations. Jealousy is the seedbed of lies, exaggerations, character assassinations, killings, sabotages, conspiracies and malice.

Whenever people are jealous of someone’s achievements, they usually conspire against him or her and make plans to sabotage their success. To conspire is to secretly plot something harmful, illegal and evil against someone. It is an act in unison or agreement in secret towards a deceitful or illegal purpose.

Sabotage is a deliberate act of disruption in which one damages someone’s equipment or plans. It is the termination of something by causing so much damage to it that it cannot be repaired. Sabotage is actually a brain child of jealousy, designed to hinder normal operations of something or someone. Jealousy makes people derail family, community and national agendas to suit their selfish personal agendas. It causes people to be selfish to the extent of refusing to go along with what’s important and to become disobedient to instructions.

The root of jealousy is selfishness. Selfishness is that quality in a person that makes them have an exclusive regard for their own interest, that supreme self love or self preference which leads a person to direct his or her purposes to the advancement of his or her own interest, power or happiness, without regarding those of others. Selfish and jealous people are a great hindrance to community and national progress. Africa’s social, economical and political life is being sabotaged daily by jealous and selfish attitudes at different levels of authority.

Africa needs leaders with stable characters. Jealousy and selfishness are destructive character flaws that stall development and progress. We need leaders endowed with trust, competence and character. We can never divorce character from leadership. Character and leadership credibility always go together. The role of character in leadership has always been the key factor in the rise and fall of families, communities and nations.

Jealousy and selfishness erode good character because they breed strife. Strife is the exertion or contention for superiority. Strife brings lack of agreement or harmony in society, and makes people behave in unbecoming ways. The Holy Bible declares; “By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom.” Character usually communicates trustworthiness, consistency, patience, potential and respect.

In order for our families, communities and nation to move forward, we must all be committed to divorce jealousy from our hearts, minds and actions. Jealousy divides and weakens the potential of individuals, communities, companies, organisations and nations. Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there also shall be a lack of unity. Farlex’s Dictionary defines unity as ‘an undivided or unbroken completeness or totality with nothing wanting’.

The unity or integrity of all parts of a family, community, company, organisation or nation is required for normal development and progress. Oneness is a prerequisite for fulfilling vision. Our natural and human resources can only be maximised in an environment of unity. We need to create a conducive atmosphere and environment for people to maximise the potential of their gifts and talents.

Creativity and innovation should be encouraged, instead of allowing jealousy and selfishness to stifle it.
Professionals and businesspeople should feel free and be allowed to explore different avenues of creativity and innovation without being sabotaged by the oppressive hands of jealousy and greed. Our success, happiness, prosperity and fulfillment as a nation will greatly depend on our ability to relate effectively with each other at family, community, professional, business and national levels. If today’s family, community and national plans are not followed up with positive, coordinated actions, they will end up being merely a heap of unfulfilled good dreams. It will take a coordinated effort to transform our nation into a successful and prosperous nation. Unity is strength.

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