Then I thought, “Why do people work so hard?” I saw people try to succeed and be better than other people. They do this because they are jealous. They don’t want other people to have more than they have. This is senseless. It is like trying to catch the wind.
Again, I considered all amal, and every kishron hama’aseh (skillful achievement), that such is a simple derivative of kinat ish meirei’eihu (the envy of man of his neighbor). This also is hevel, a chasing after ruach.
Teacher: Then I saw yet another thing: envy fuels achievement. All the work and skills people develop come from their desire to be better than their neighbors. Even this is fleeting, like trying to embrace the wind.
Again I beheld all the travails of men, and busynesses; and I perceived that those be open to [the] envy of the neighbour; and therefore in this is vanity (and so this is emptiness and futility), and superfluous busyness.
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