Not often but it happens: crossing lanes with old friends, husband and wife, people not seen for too many years: a riding couple from the past. Motorcycle community is for real and when the common memories fade away there is still a connection, the need to catch up and to continue the imaginary tyre kicking, starting with the classic opening question: “And..are you still riding?

To my amazement, the question opened the Pandora box: in long minutes, we were flashed with number and names of countries visited, of alpine passes covered, of brands & models & year of motorcycle used, we learned about the current vehicle,(type & colour & cost), the protective and waterproof  properties of jacket and pants, the technical underwear used, the motorcycle first in the desire list and the  next date for replacement, with the reasons of delay in purchase (new model coming).

Add to this the preferred flying speed, the ironbutting kilometres covered and additional news on companions on the road, social media presence and camera use.

He took considerable time, and then he stopped reaching a point where it felt he was running low on ammunition, low in “impressive news”.  The partner decided to come to rescue: “What do you do now?” that famous iconic question of the early 21st century.

I’ve always found it tricky… a question that questions what I have been doing in life, so far, and how I took advantage of my talents. However, very few have real interest in my activity: the question it is more about status, how much, how as long for…. a stage given to explain my fortunes. My answer takes normally short space and , in this occasion, I made it even shorter.

Mr. Alain de Botton guides when it comes to the what-do-you-do question: “You encounter it within minutes at a party, when you get asked that famous iconic question of the early 21st century, “What do you do?” According to how you answer that question, people are either incredibly delighted to see you, or look at their watch and make their excuses

Mr. de Botton continues “We’ve done away with the caste system, we are now in a system where anyone can rise to any position they please. And it’s a beautiful idea. Along with that is a kind of spirit of equality; we’re all basically equal. There are no strictly defined hierarchies. There is one really big problem with this, and that problem is envy. Envy, it’s a real taboo to mention envy, but if there’s one dominant emotion in modern society, that is envy. And it’s linked to the spirit of equality… I think it would be very unusual for anyone …to be envious of the Queen of England. Even though she is much richer than any of us are, and she’s got a very large house, the reason why we don’t envy her is because she’s too weird. She’s simply too strange. We can’t relate to her, she speaks in a funny way, she comes from an odd place. So we can’t relate to her, and when you can’t relate to somebody, you don’t envy them. The closer two people are — in age, in background, in the process of identification — the more there’s a danger of envy

I know and I could sense the feeling and this encounter stayed with me longer than usual. Why did I feel that a game was played? Why was I such a killjoy in playing it?

We can agree to call this game the “Reciprocal Envy”. We play it by presenting, on the first round, your goods & fortunes and you “like” them verbally or with a thumbs up. In return the second player do the same to receive his/her own share of envy. Some exaggeration is allowed.

Common, played by me and zillion of others, bikers or not: we know exactly how to pose for a happy, cheerful, “sexy” bike’n me selfie, frame and edit the shot, add attractive filters, words, emojis posting it at the most popular time for max exposure. All this, followed by counting the number of likes and comments. Envy me and I promise I will envy you!

We seem to have forgotten how envy actually sets us apart, while we are craving for sociality. Am I to ready to share, in humility, difficulties, doubts, weaknesses and my search for meaning?

4 thoughts on “Envy me and I will envy you…”
  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 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…”.

  3. 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.

  4. 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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