Querida Clara: Issue 14
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What should I do if I feel jealous of everyone around me all the time?
Job, a righteous man who came from the Land of Uz, took comfort in the fact that he was dust. So are all of us dust, here to hover for one brief blink in the sun. Whenever I encounter a man who is a better hunter and smelter than I am and who possesses more oxen, cattle, wild-fowl, urns of silver, urns of gold, wives, children, and sheep than I do, I simply remind him, “You are dust, and to dust you will return.” That puts him in his place. Everybody is fleeting dust.
It is logical for me to covet the hunting and smelting prowess of other men. Yet if I were to possess those abilities, it is certain that I wouldn’t fully be myself anymore. Beings are themselves because of all the things that they are—in my case, a capable weaver, an honest tradesman, and a successful farmer—but also all the things that they are not, like a good hunter. The holes in the blanket are part of the blanket. Those who love you may love you just as much for what you have as what you lack.