The essence of envy is a deep desire to be someone else. In its extreme form it is a complete nullification of oneself.
The will to power, as the modern age from Hobbes to Nietzsche understood it, far from being a characteristic of the strong, is, like envy and greed, among the vices of the weak, and possibly even their most dangerous one. Power corrupts indeed when the weak band together in order to ruin the strong, but not before.
Emulation admires and strives to imitate great actions; envy is only moved to malice.
How can we explain the perpetuity of envy - a vice which yields no return?
When we envy another, we make their virtue our vice.
If thou takes virtue for the rule of life, and valuest thyself upon acting in all things comfortably thereto, thou wilt have no cause to envy lords and princes; for blood is inherited, but virtue is common property and may be acquired by all; it has, moreover, an intrinsic worth, which blood has not.
Envy is such a part of many people’s personalities that it is not reasonable to expect them to completely eradicate this trait. Rather, they should channel it in a positive direction. Let them envy those with wisdom so they will try to gain more wisdom.
As a moth gnaws a garment, so doth envy consume a man.
By the very fact that I respect you without envy I prove my dignity as a man.
There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as "moral indignation," which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue.
Malice may be sometimes out of breath, envy never.
Feelings of envy are based on illusions. What actual loss do you have if someone else has more money and receives more honor than you?
All envy is proportionate to desire; we are uneasy at the attainments of another, according as we think our own happiness would be advanced by the addition of that which withholds from us.
Wealth is nothing in itself, it is not useful but when it departs from us; its value is found only in that which it can purchase, which, if we suppose it put to its best use by those that posses it, seems not much to deserve the desire or envy of a wise man. It is certain that, with regard to corporal enjoyment, money can neither open new avenues to pleasure, nor block up the passages to anguish. Disease and infirmity still continue to torture and enfeeble, perhaps exasperated by luxury, or promoted by softness. With respect to the mind, it has rarely been observed, that wealth contributes much to quicken the discernment, enlarge the capacity, or elevate the imagination; but may, by hiring flattery, or laying diligence asleep, confirm error, and harden stupidity.
The envious will die, but envy never.
Other passions have objects to flatter the, and seem to content and satisfy them for a while; there is power in ambition, pleasure in luxury, and pelf in covetousness; but envy can gain nothing but vexation.
We see how much a man has, and therefore we envy him; did we see how little he enjoys, we should rather pity him.
Jealousy is the fear or apprehension of superiority; envy our uneasiness under it.
These men (chronic fault-finders) should consider that it is their envy which deforms everything, and that the ugliness is not in the object, but in the eye.
If you feel envious of others, you will never enjoy life. You will always find someone else to envy regardless of what you yourself have. There will invariably be another person who is greater than you in either wisdom, wealth, or power. Unless you stop comparing yourself with others, your entire life will be full of needless pain and suffering.