Envy in its most basic form is a state of discontent and ill will directed at another person because of their advantages or possessions. Envy is always directed at another person. Envy in the sense of being a sin is not desiring to better oneself or one's family. Its cause is not in inequities of people nor even in the injustices but in the envier's relationships to these realities. It is the state of being diminished or disgraced because of other person's advantage or possessions. These might be wealth or power but also humility, goodness or creativity. Envy brings two types of negative action. It seeks revenge through bringing down the other person by pointing out their failures or by actually causing them to fail. It seeks self destruction through acquiescing to the sense of diminished worth and refusing to work to one's own potential. Envy tells that life is found in hating the neighbour. By its very nature it destroys genuine, free, open, creative human relationships.
Envy has been recognized as a profound human problem from the time of the early Greeks. One of Aesop's fables tells of Zeus granting to an envious man any wish he desired with one stipulation. His neighbour receives twice as much as the man. There was no limit on what could be asked for. The man wished for the loss of one eye, for the terms of the promise from Zeus was that the neighbour would be totally blinded. Envy for the Greeks was a destroyer.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.