The Fire of Jealousy

"What else can I offer you, aunty? Would you like some chocolates?" ,asked Punit as he spoke to a lady who had come to his stall during the annual school fair. To this she replied, "No, I just bought 20 packets from Dhyey Shah's stall. He had a lot of variety."

  "Okay, okay, it doesn't matter." Punit answered with a weary smile. Punit and Dhyey had been classmates since kindergarten. Dhyey was always a step ahead of Punit in all fields, be it studies, sports or any extracurricular activity; Dhyey always won. Due to this, Dhyey was famous throughout the school. He was always selected for all school programs. Punit would endeavor to out-do Dhyey each time, but never succeeded.

One day, Punit returned home with a gloomy face. Putting his backpack down, Punit went near his closet to change his clothes. Just then his sight fell on the mirror and Punit said to himself, "I look like a cry-baby." He stared at the mirror with a grumpy face.

Just then the mirror replied, "I am a mirror. I show you as you are. But my dear friend, do tell me why you look so sad today?" Punit was startled to hear the mirror speak. With irritation he said, "It's all because of Dhyey. Once again, he got higher marks than I did in the exams. No matter how hard I try, he is always ahead of me. I don't understand why I am always lagging behind."

With laughter the mirror replied, "Oh! So that's what's going on! You are jealous of Dhyey." To this Punit said, "Jealous? No, no Dhyey is my friend. Why should I be jealous of him?" The mirror continued, "Like I mentioned before, I am a mirror. I show you as you are." 

Punit then asked, "How do I believe that I am jealous of Dhyey?" The mirror answered, "I'll prove it right away. Listen carefully to what I say and tell me whether you agree or not."

When Dhyey outshines you, you don't like it. When people praise him, you cannot tolerate it. When he suffers a loss or falls back, you feel happy. In fact, you even wish for this to happen. Whatever he does, you feel compelled to do it all. You keep seeing negative qualities in him, and feel a sense of dislike towards him. You feel like telling others about his negatives. You burn like fire all day long. Tell me, do you feel all of this? Punit was stunned with what he had just heard. Everything that the mirror had said was true. He asked the mirror, "Oh! How did you find out about all this?" The mirror replied, "I told you, I am a mirror. I show you as you are."

Listening to this, the expression on Punit's face was that of a thief caught red-handed. Seeing this the mirror said, "Your gloomy face, your resentment and irritation are all a result of your jealousy. I have a great solution to help you overcome jealousy." Punit's face was an exclamation mark. He asked the mirror, "What is it?  Please tell me."

The mirror then replied, "When you heartily appreciate the positive qualities in others, those qualities manifest in you. Our strength increases and by heartily accepting the positive in others, our jealousy for the person dissolves completely. Therefore, you too should appreciate the positive qualities in Dhyey from the bottom of your heart."

Once again with a grumpy face, Punit said, "Positive qualities and that too in Dhyey? Even if I search with binoculars I cannot find even a single positive quality in him."

The mirror rhetorically asked, "You can't find any or you don't want to find any positives?"

Punit looked down speechlessly. The mirror then said, "C'mon… tell me, when do you start preparing for your exams?" Punit thought over it and answered, "A week in advance." The mirror asked, "And Dhyey?"

Punit answered, "He studies daily. Once Dhyey's father told me, that Dhyey always follows his timetable. He has slotted aside time to watch TV, play and chat with friends and he diligently follows the timetable."

Explaining to Punit the mirror said, "So this is known as his good time management skill. Then, have you seen him practicing tennis?" Punit replied, "Yes, at school while the rest of us chit chat, or goof around, he practices tennis."

So the mirror said, "This proves that he is sincere and hardworking." Punit said yes nodding his head. The mirror then added, "Instead of being jealous, if you appreciate his positive qualities, then these qualities will also begin to develop in you."

Punit felt inspired by these words. The following day, in math class the teacher asked the students to solve a tough problem. No-one other than Dhyey was able to solve it. At first, Punit felt jealous, but at once he remembered the teachings of the mirror. In his mind, he immediately praised Dhyey's intelligence.

Thus, Punit began to notice and happily appreciate Dhyey's discipline, sincerity, concentration, hard working qualities. Within no time, he also became sincere and hard working like Dhyey.

Today, Punit's exam results were declared. He looked extremely happy. Punit promptly went and stood in front of the mirror. The mirror questioned him, "What's the matter? You look very happy today!" Punit answered, "How do you know that?"

The mirror said, "Have you forgotten?  I am a mirror.  I show you as you are."

To this Punit said, "Yes, I got my results today. Dhyey stood first while I came second. I scored the highest marks in science. The best part of all is that, I am not at all jealous of Dhyey, in fact, I am happy about his progress and at the same time I am happy with my own progress also." The mirror proclaimed its happiness saying, "I am pleased to hear about this too." Punit added, "…And as I tell others of Dhyey's result, I feel all the more lighter." To which the mirror said, "Do you know the reason?"  Punit asked, "What is it?"

The mirror replied, "By speaking positively about a person for whom we hold negative opinions, the negativity in our mind gets dissolved.  This is why you feel light."

Punit said, "Oh! Thanks a lot! You have given me the ultimate solution to overcome jealousy. All my energies were lost being jealous. Now, I can steer my strengths onto the path of progress."

The mirror said, "Very good! Now, don't ever go astray, or else I will immediately catch you. You remember, don't you?" Punit replied, "Yes, yes! You are a mirror and you show us as we are." And, they both burst into laughter.

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