Last night I had a brief but meaningful interaction with a homeless man. He was bed down for the night inside a hollow where two tall buildings join together. At the end of our conversation I asked him if he was alright. He nodded and then extended his hand for a handshake. He wasn't alright, but it was kind of him to try and reassure me.
As I walked away from that experience I couldn't help but think about him lying on that cold, damp ground looking up at people hustling by. The people he watched had somewhere to be. They had some kind of purpose to pursue. They had someone to connect with at the end of their day. Their umbrellas were out, their collars were up and they were moving at a quickened pace in order to beat the cold.
Surely this man would have wanted what others had.
I have spent the last few years being envious. I have been envious of people's cars, their houses, their ability to pay the bills. I have been envious of people who (seemingly) don't have a care in this world. I am truly envious of those who don't have to constantly put out fires. I have been envious of other's ability to move forward; to take on the normal things of life without consequence.
I'm not trying to compare my current life circumstance to that of this homeless man, nor do I want to demean anyone by simply making an analogy out of their personal life. My attempt is to harness a deeper understanding of enviousness. Envy is a strong partner of suffering. Those who suffer sometimes wish to have the lives of those who do not.
I would not fault the homeless man for being envious.