There is a publication in England called Now Magazine. It is filled from cover to cover with pictures and stories of celebrities caught off-guard, looking and acting their worst.
Beyoncé with burger sauce in her blouse; Madonna without makeup; Prince with a pot belly; Usher in his underwear; Dr Dre drunk; it’s all in the sordid, salacious centre-spreads of Now Magazine.
The publication comes out once a week and regularly sells over 200,000 copies within hours. Why? Because people will pay good money to enjoy the misfortune of others.
We look at these celebrities, we see their perfect lives, their amazing cars, their vast mansions, their stunning spouses, their flourishing careers… we look at them and think, how unfair that one person should have so much when so many others have nothing. How can one person be so perfect?
So we start looking as closely as we can for chinks in their armour – a little cellulite on their thighs, a drug addiction, a cheating husband, a prison record, a broken marriage, something – anything – just to show that they are no different from us. We can’t be like them, so we mustmake them like us. It’s a rather sorry commentary of human nature, but it’s true.
Celebrity watching is just an example of this, but it also happens with friends, colleagues, siblings, even spouses. American comedian, Chris Rock describes the moment when a woman introduces her fine new man to her girlfriends. While most of them are thinking, “what a lovely man – I want a guy just like him”, there’s always one who’s thinking, “what a lovely man – I want him”.
All around us, there are two kinds of people; those who want to be like us, and those who want to be us. Now, you’re probably digesting all this and thinking, “Yes, jealousy and envy – such a bad thing. I know exactly which of my friends to tag underthis post”. Well, before you start pointing fingers, please ask yourself: how do you feel when you hear someone you know is succeeding?
When you meet that person you went to school with who is now doing well for themselves, do you celebrate their new achievements or do you remind them of when they were just like you? When I see people doing well, I see possibilities. I think to myself, this person’s success is proof that it can be done. You see, this world is filled with infinite possibilities, but the struggle can be tough sometimes.
The path to success weaves through rocky terrain, but to keep our moraleup, God shows us examples of others who have made it, just so we know it can be done. God holds up the torch of other people’s successes to illuminate our path to the top. This is why it seems to me that being jealous of another person is probably the biggest insult you could throw at God.
Let me explain: to be jealous of someone’s success, you must first assume that God is only capable of making one person successful, so if someone else has made it, then you never will.
If you think the only way to equal a rising star is by shooting it down, then you must believe that one star is all God can manage. How insulted He must feel when we pull each other down over one morsel, while He prepares a banquet for us all.
My friends, it’s time we stopped hating those who get married before us, promoted before us, buy cars before us, have children before us, start businesses before us, graduate before us, and realise that our season too is coming, and it won’t be a minute sooner than the perfect time. So when you witness another’s triumph, don’t hate. Congratulate.
My name is Kojo Yankson, and your success does not mean my failure. The sky is too big for two eagles to collide.
GOOD MORNING, GHANAFO!
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