Avishkar Govender
Avishkar Govender

On envy

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Kahndisthi as an impediment to human solidarity for sustainable development

If jealousy is indeed the green-eyed monster that gnaws at ones very soul forcing the person into a state of derision and acquisition for the purpose of being competitively displaced; then kahndisthi, as the mechanism and indeed substance of envy itself, must be an impediment to human solidarity for sustainable development.

For indeed if envy begets hatred and hatred begets jealousy and jealousy begets consumptive, gratifying, comparative-driven acquisition, and thus the moral decay of society, then it must be that where this acquisition occurs for the purpose of being just as good as, rather than being better than, then in fact the cause of innovation and creation is not being served, where such that instead we have the cause of replication and repetition being encouraged.

In markets such as these, there will be a greater drive towards reverse engineering, generics and almost-likes. This is not innovation, indeed by making your own versions of other people’s products, you do yourself a disservice in your quest to be the best producer of whatever it is that you produce.

So we have the state of being that says that for as long as people cannot be happy for each others’ achievements and cannot commonly rejoice in the development of the mutual space we will have this state of unconstructive one-upmanship instead of real progress and innovation.

Shared learning, mutual co-operation and open-source, intellectual property development create the potential for us to be able to set the pace of development rather than keep up with the pace of development as set by the market leaders. The type of innovator who is able to suspend the demands of his or her own Maslowian hierarchy, within their own person, will be the type of innovator who is able to look beyond the instant gratification of short-term solutions, and will, I think, be able to develop constructive and intelligent solutions to developmental challenges.

Impediments to the development of such solutions include many things including the oft trundled ones of capacity, resources, experience, opportunity and support, or more pertinently the lack of these things. Excuses come in many shapes and sizes but all centre on one particular issue, that of the absence of something that was supposed to be there or to have been done.

In addition to these I now say that kahndisthi, as a destructive ephemeral force, is another impediment, which along with all of the specificities of our developmental imperative and our developmental capacities, contributes to the retardation of the developmental drive.

The only way to obviate this added burden is to encourage human solidarity and the fraternity and sorority of all people. That we must be able to sincerely share in each others’ joys and sorrows and that we must honestly contribute equally to the greater commonwealth of all people. But we cannot do this for as long as our destinies are predetermined by the force of kahndisthi, can we?

Indeed it must be true that we must instead, tactically, find a way to be able to operate without incurring the envy and duplicity of our neighbours and thus we ask: can this be achieved without a bolder sense of common identity or without a stronger sense of camaraderie and compatriotism, and how does this relate to how we engage with people who are of different identities to our own?

It is clear, at least to me at any rate, that the force of envy must in itself be isolated and immolated if we are to overcome the divisions of the past and build bridges to the future.