justice353

One day ... perhaps.

A short video was uploaded to YouTube this week of a shirtless young man aboard a flashy powerboat that had drifted onto the rocks at Sydney's North Bondi last Sunday.

As the waves batter the expensive boat, the man is thrown to the deck, then washed onto rocks before authorities call him away from the vessel for his own safety.

There's a certain type of bloke who bothers to exit one of the city's harbours and make their way through open water to Bondi to squirt around in their speedboat.

From long observation of such antics, I can say they're usually accompanied by other shirtless men or women in bikinis and tend to make a production of how much they're enjoying themselves.

This gentleman was different, as he was apparently alone while he did a few inexpert rounds of the bay, then anchored his boat and dived into the water to swim ashore and socialise with a woman on the point.

The man ignored warnings from locals it was foolhardy to leave his boat so close to the rocks, the sou'westerly wind kicked in and, well, you can see what happened here.

Judging from descriptions of this guy's driving, I doubt the boat belonged to him - it was probably his mum and dad's, or a friend's.

After a smirk of amusement, I scrolled through the video's comments and saw someone had described it as "justice porn", which is a neat way to describe a twerp falling victim to his own hubris.

Then I read some of the other, more vicious comments and wondered at the futility of envy.

I'm not discounting that this guy was a complete nautical incompetent, peacocking for a girl. A friend who works in the Sydney maritime industry who witnessed the entire shemozzle said the guy nearly got crushed between the boat and the rocks at least twice trying to re-float it, and then almost reversed into a stand-up paddle boarder when he succeeded.

A true Desmond.

I grew up around rich kids and totally get why they're annoying - they often confuse their luck for genius - but I reckon if you spend your life feeling envious of other people's good fortune, you're handicapping your own chances of success.

Envy, wrote the philosopher Francis Bacon, is like being in love in that it's all-consuming; both "make a man pine, which other affections do not, because they are not so continual".

Bacon goes on: "It is also the vilest affection, and the most depraved; for which cause it is the proper attribute of the devil, who is called, the envious man, that soweth tares amongst the wheat by night; as it always cometh to pass, that envy worketh subtlely, and in the dark, and to the prejudice of good things, such as is the wheat."

"Tares amongst the wheat" is a reference to one of Jesus's parables, in which a farmer has his fields secretly sown with tare, a weed or ryegrass, "which looks much like wheat in its early stages of growth", according to Biblical scholar Craig S. Keener.

The doctorate student Ramesh Khatry points out this was such a well-known and reprehensible form of revenge the Romans outlawed it because it so thoroughly ruined good croplands.

The point Bacon is illustrating is envy makes it impossible to enjoy your own blessings because like tare, it taints the good, nothing is ever enough.

"Envy is ever joined with the comparing of a man's self; and where there is no comparison, no envy," writes Bacon.

I'd love to own a boat one day and, of course, loan it to my daughter. However, I know I won't be any less happy for its absence from my life.

That said, what will assuredly make me unhappy is envying every person who does have the good fortune to own a boat, even if they're stupid enough to let it wash it onto rocks. 

You can follow Sam on Twitter here. His email address is here.

Please don't take it personally if I do not reply to your email as they come in thick and fast depending on the topic. Please know, I appreciate you taking the time to write and comment and would offer mummy hugs to all.