Sister Space

Unmasking the face of envy and jealousy

By Safiyyah Muhammad | Last updated: May 22, 2014 - 6:18:06 PM

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As women we often struggle with many insecurities. Having grown up in a material world, we feel our lives are incomplete until we have all the creature comforts that our girlfriends, female cousins or the sister down the street have.

If our friends are rocking the latest designer shoes or adorned with beautiful clothes and jewelry; we want it too.

We all have at one time coveted something that someone else owned, but when excessive coveting turns green with envy, little do we know, dark seeds of envy and jealousy begin to sprout.

One definition of coveting is to wish for, long for, or crave something, especially something that belongs to another.

Consider the 1995 tragic death of up-and-coming pop star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, a beautiful 23 year-old Mexican-American sister and awesome Tejano music star murdered by her fan club manager, Yolanda Saldivar. News reports stated Selana believed that Ms. Saldivar stole money out of the fan club account. Selana went to a motel to confront Ms. Salvidar about the missing money. A heated argument ensued and Ms. Salvidar opened fire on Selena, ending her life with a single gunshot wound to her back. Was this tragic incident just over a few thousand dollars or was the murderous plot rooted in envy and jealousy?

Envy and jealousy are very subtle emotions often hidden behind quiet demeanors but this personality type seethes with anger and wicked intentions. Envy and Jealousy weave, bob, run, hide and conceal themselves through smiles and friendly gestures.

The Temptations described envy well in the lyrics of the popular Motown hit written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, “Smiling Faces Sometimes.” “Smiling faces sometimes pretend to be your friend, smiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within,” the song goes.

Hidden deep within the heart, envy masks itself under a friendly, smiling face.

In biblical times, Cain killed Abel in a jealous rage. In modern days, Cain’s bloodshed represents the blood Black people spill when murdering each other out of self-hatred,envy and jealousy.

Too often people are injured and murdered over material items such as a pair of sneakers, illegal drugs, or a piece of clothing.

A November  9, 2013 headline reads: “Bryant Park skating rink shooting leaves two injured, including 14-year-old avid skater; shooter at large.” The story continues:
“A gunman who shot a 20-year-old man in the arm and 14-year-old Adonis Mera in the back—and the teens family fears he may never walk again. Police are searching for the suspected shooter—described as a Black male with dreadlocks in a red hooded shirt—and investigating the possibility that the shooting may have been over a coat.”

In Black and Latino communities, we can’t seem to forge ahead and become a unified group because we struggle with the sickness of envy and jealousy. This sickness is deep within our churches, mosques and even in our family circles. This affliction is known as “crabs in a barrel syndrome” and it has reached epic proportions.

Where and when does all the envy and jealousy end? Who wins when we fight, kill and hurt one another?

It is time to go within our hearts to erase, let go and discharge the smiling face of envy and jealousy and through meditation, affirmation, and auditing. According to Scientology, founded by L. Ron Hubbard, auditing helps individuals rid themselves of any spiritual disabilities (such as envy and jealousy); thereby increasing one’s spiritual capabilities.

We can break the chains of envy and jealousy that continue to plague our communities. May all of our hearts radiate with the Light of Allah.

(Safiyyah Muhammad is a member of the Nation of Islam and attended Rust College and the University of Iowa School of Journalism. She is a Final Call copy editor.)