Envy Me

posted by Hakan Erman

Summer is the perfect time to give biking a break. It is too hot and humid for putting on any protection. Roads, destinations, hotels, mechanics are way too crowded and you are guaranteed to be a victim of tourism industry in one way or another.

So we went to a beach, not to avoid crowds but to relax and at least get rid of our clothes. It was past noon time, getting a little too hot and plunge intervals were reduced to 20 minutes. It turns out we are not the only ones preferring beach going to biking: we ran into some rider couple from the past. Motorcycle community is for real and even when you see a rider you hardly have memories together there is still a connection. We needed  to do some catching up and imaginary tyre kicking, so I asked the appropriate question: “are you still riding?”.

To my amazement, by just asking that one question, we were able to learn number and names of countries and Alp passes covered, brand, model, year and properties of current motorcycle, type, colour, cost and rainproof properties of jacket, pants, technical underwear (brand matched to bike), bike’s last date of replacement, usual replacement period, next replacement date and reason of delay (new engine type expectancy), preferred speeds on the road and daily range (fast / very long), other people’s reactions to these, profession of self and wife, social circle, home location, garden size, other interests…

All this took some time and then he stopped talking when he reached a point where it felt like he was running low on ammunition. He probably kept a few more in reserve for the next round of talk but decided it was now the time for him to ask THE question: “What do you do?

This  must be a sure nominee for the “questions of the century” and I’ve always found it tricky… it push me think about all tI have been doing in life.

However, the question and the curiosity behind is more about status, how and how much. It was as if the stage was given to me to explain my fortunes.

Feeling that I was invited to a game which I did not want to play, I gave the shortest reply possible and let the conversation die. I had an available excuse: it was hot and time for our next plunge.

This encounter stayed with me well after that day. Why did I feel that a game was played? What was it about? Why was I such a killjoy playing it?

I think it can suitably be called The Envy Game. The way to play it is that I expose you my fortunes and you “like” them verbally or with a thumbs up/love symbol. In return, you do the same to receive your own share of envy. Some exaggeration is allowed. Happy gaming.

Happy? I found out that this is where my problem with this game lies.

I know that people are not really interested or profoundly happy hearing about my fortunes. Listening about a perfect-looking life and describing yours that way is acting, tiring and anything but elating.

Yet it is so common. Most people these days know exactly how to pose for a happy, cheerful, sexy or bike’n me selfie, frame and edit the shot, which exhilarating filters, words, emojis to use and at what time to post it for best exposure. All this is followed by counting the number of likes and comments. Envy me, promise I will envy you!

We seem to have forgotten how envy actually sets us apart, while we are craving for sincerity. The way for sincerity is, however, not that but to be ready to share our humility, difficulties, doubts, weaknesses and our search for meaning.

08/08/2018

6 thoughts on “Envy Me

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  1. “We seem to have forgotten how envy actually sets us apart, while we are craving for sincerity. The way for sincerity is, however, not that but to be ready to share our humility, difficulties, doubts, weaknesses and our search for meaning”

    This is the central knowledge of the script and the part that needs development. Envy is a powerful vice and only knowledge can reduce its impact. In the “Diaries” we explore knowledge and we need to develop “what our experience teaches us in reducing Envy or in eliminating it. The concepts of “sincerity – humility” are better developed in the “Bulletin Revision” section since there we discuss the “good and the bad”.
    Your diary should be extended to testimony how you fought and won (totally or partially) Envy.

  2. I believe self-contentment is the key to avoid becoming a member of the “selfie nation”. Life is much easier when you are not in constant search for reassurance and approval of society.

  3. I agree with your comments and that need for sincerity deserves going deeper. It is a virtue of being pure and honest. Contentment may or may not cover it, I am not sure, but in practice it is about being open about your self and not necessarily being in balance, happy or in control. When true, how comfortable are we saying “I feel worried – I feel alone – I made mistakes – I don’t know…”.

  4. We have to admit that, there is a system established in our century, compressing the whole world into our pockets, resulting the possibility of “envy me”. The system is also pumping consumption relatively, even though consumption is redundant. Social media become the trigger of all, you feel your self obliged to expose after spending so much money on your toys and tools. We may blame ourselves not to be wise enough to realize and fall into this trap of our century.

  5. Interesting article. I run into the same No Reply stand off on occasions. But it is due to my job. I have to make a instant decision about whether to chat or not. I’m a policeman on the railways. Now I know that the perception of police in Britain and Turkey is different. My role as a railway cop makes my perception different to a ordinary cop as well. My partner is a physiotherapist and she never lets on as she does not want strangers unloading all their problems on her.

    But envy as a biker ? Biking I find is a great leveller. Apart from the occasional ‘ All the Gear , NO idea ‘ muppet I find that talking to other bikers can be a learning experience. Of course a bore is just a bore no matter the subject.

    When I was riding in Turkey with OMM I found that even though I may have been on the latest GS in my reasonable new full kit I could still have some point of reference with a young lad riding in shorts and flip flops .

    If someone wants to play the $$$ game with you , then fully agree that is not why I ride and they can Golf Delta One and it is time for a swim.

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