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Chaldean Authors Discuss The Root of Rivalry Among Women
By Huda Metti :: Monday, July 28, 2008 :: 128614 Views :: Article Rating :: Health & Fitness, Living & Lifestyle, Religion & Spirituality

"Sometimes healthy competition for what we want turns into a problematic desire to have something merely because a rival already has it. This is not just based on what we want, but also on what we don’t want our perceived rival to have,” writes author, Susan, Barash in her book “Tripping the Prom Queen: The truth about Women and Rivalry.” 

Seventy percent of the five hundred women interviewed said they were familiar with the concept Barash writes about.  Barash is a professor of gender studies at Marymount Manhattan College in New York and became fascinated by women's relationship. Can sisters, mothers and best friends be jealous and supportive at the same time? In fact she found that rivalry and envy often pervades female relationships.

The women were interviewed on female competition.  The study revealed that many women are competitively mean.   In her book, Barash outlines why women compete with each other differently than men do with other men and why women often want to sabotage powerful female rivals.

Envy and jealousy provide the basis for most of the competition and rivalry between women. This is clear through Barash's examples of women's friendships ending when one is getting married and the other is perpetually single, or one gets pregnant when another has been tirelessly trying to have children sans success, or one is promoted to a position another has had her eye on for longer. When someone gets something you want, it's natural to feel jealous because you have lost this supposed competition between the two of you.

Male competition is goal-oriented and limited, Barash says, while women compete over appearance, children, the workplace and relationships. Why? According to Barash, for women, competition is about identity and relationships, and they have a harder time setting boundaries to competition.

Barash devotes chapters to specific areas of competition, from looks to career, and then presents real-life examples of situations in which resentment and jealousy can be used to improve one's life without destroying anyone else's. Overall, the study provides a helpful starting place for any woman wondering if it's possible to get what she wants without hurting or being hurt."

The unfortunate yet undeniable fact drawn from the interviews and her book is that all types of women of all ages are constantly in competition with each other unless they are able to realize it and make an effort to stop.

“Chaldean church leaders have long taught of the sins of envy and its nurturing root; jealousy,” says Frank Dado, writer and student of theology and psychology. “Many don’t want to hear this, because they are drowning in the competition of consumerism and their self-identify is tied to what they have that others do not have.  I am sure I will get plenty of hate mail on reminding people that the tenth commandment states, ‘thou shall not covet’ and in Mathew chapter six paragraph 21 we are told, ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’”

 

Dado says the Catechist teaches that the tenth commandment requires that envy be banished from the human heart.  “The Bible gives numerous examples like in Samuel 12:14, when the prophet Nathan tried to get King David to repent he told him about a poor man who had only one lamb that he treated like his own daughter.  But there was a rich man who, despite having flocks of sheep, envied the poor man and stole his rival’s one lamb.   Envy can lead to the worst crimes.  The wise have often said, ‘Through the devil's envy death entered the world.’”

For Chaldeans and others who embrace the Catholic faith, envy is a capital sin. It refers to the sadness or anger at the knowledge of another's goods.  For some people it is so bad it grows into the immoderate desire to acquire the goods for oneself or obstruct another from their rightful gain, even unjustly. When the person wishes grave harm to a neighbor it is a mortal sin.  St. Augustine saw envy as "the diabolical sin and from envy are born hatred, detraction, calumny, joy caused by the misfortune of a neighbor, and displeasure caused by his prosperity and lack of voluntary humility."
 
The Bible speaks of voluntary humility as "poverty in spirit"; clarifies Dado.  “The Lord grieves over the rich, because they find their consolation in the abundance of goods.”

Both Barash and Dado agree that to combat the urges of envy one might practice good-will, humility, charity, and strengthen their faith to the providence of God. 

Personal Development professional Charles Gallozi writes, “Envy is the mud that failures throw at success.  To be envious is to regret one's failure to achieve good fortune or to regret the successes of others.”

He continues that those that envy often have a false sense of entitlement. “Instead of working for what they want, envious people may believe they deserve it merely because they want it. Also, in their twisted perspective, they may imagine that the gains of others have been taken from them, so they are filled with resentment. The envious suffer twice, when they don't succeed and when others do. Their negative attitude makes them unpopular, which further escalates their envy.”

Gallozi’s take on envy is categorized in two stages.  The first is does not harm others, but as envy grows and more resources are made available to an envious person the enter stage two.  In Stage two envious people, groups, or businesses act maliciously. 

Gallozi writes, “they usually begin by criticizing and maligning others, as well as lying and spreading rumors.   Although the envious are troublesome to others, they are a torment to themselves.” 

Like Dado and Barash, Gallozi writes that the cure for envy is goodwill, benevolence, and generosity.

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St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.