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Woman, Covet Not

Updated on February 8, 2012
We are ever striving after what is forbidden, and coveting what is denied us.-Publius Ovidius Naso ·
We are ever striving after what is forbidden, and coveting what is denied us.-Publius Ovidius Naso ·

Check your moral compass

Covetous men (women) are fools, miserable wretches, buzzards, madmen who live by themselves, in perpetual slavery, fear, suspicion, sorrow, discontent, with more of gall than honey in their enjoyments; who are rather possessed by their money than possessors of it. Robert Burton

I'm not for judging women, even at their worst. I have been on the other side too many times, and it sucks! I write from experience, and i can tell you, i have every reason to come down on women who stole loyalties, caused us heartaches, and traumatized many dear to us. My dad's womanizing broke our home, and devastated our beautiful family. I used to wonder what kind of woman would wreck a marriage. What was it that she wanted at all cost, and still live with her conscience? Was it the money, good looks, the status, what? I left my first husband because he liked women a little too much. Again, i asked, did these women know he was married? I never really found the answers. But, rather than be bitter, i resolved to gain from my experiences. One thing for sure, i committed to never hurt another woman by stealing her husband. And, i vowed, my daughter will never mess around with a married man and be a mistress. As a mother to my one and only child, one of the biggest concerns i had was, how to raise a daughter with strong moral convictions, I wasn't going to be remiss in my role, to equip her to be a woman who will make the right choices and decisions in life. I wanted her to do better than i did, and prayed that she would live by the guiding principles passed on to me by the good women in my life, like my mother, and grandmother. Given the damage i have already done to myself, my early marriage, the divorce, we had a rough starting point. Understanding human nature, what's in our DNA, i knew, it was just a matter of 'when', she would challenge my authority, as a rebel teenage girl, whose hormones would be on overdrive. I knew i had to be tenacious tiger mom of sort, and stand my ground.

I was raised in a home where we read scriptures and were taught to live by every precept. I did just fine while i was under the protective care of my parents and 4 watchdog brothers. Then, i found myself thrust into the unknown and dark world of adulthood, Out in the wild, among the wolves, i went through a crucible that tested my moral fortitude. Working as a model, i met many attractive, successful and powerful men, and mostly married. It was the ultimate battle for a single woman, to ward off men, and reject some of the most degrading, sexist, preposterous, propositions out there. I know first hand what it means to be targeted by the boss, and you have no choice but to leave the job. I have seen the worst in workplaces, when women are compromised, and it's hard to put blame on anyone, because, for me, you always have a choice. I remember a conversation i had with a very attractive tycoon who tried to convince me, it was ok to be in a relationship with him, despite the fact he was already keeping two. I found it hilarious, and i asked him "Pray pls tell me, what and how could i possibly be adding to thy roster?" He had the gall to say, 'a different flavor'. At least he was honest, and probably thought, i had the sophistication to handle it. I gave him my signature laughter, and he knew he had lost me. I don't claim that i always got things right, because there were occasions when i faltered, and missed the mark. But, i consider myself a good student of life. I've seen too many women destroyed by their lack of moral compass, self-respect and because of materialism. Coveting is blatant, promoted, and all over the place. Sadly, some cultures have come to accept certain behaviors, and there is no longer any stigma to say, being a mistress or having mistresses.

But, what is it that we covet, and desire what we don’t have,or, what belongs to someone else? What is it that makes us think, "if I only get what they have, I’ll be happy". The millionaire is no longer content being a millionaire and the billionaire isn’t content being a billionaire. The poor who covet and never have, are also never content when they get what they want. The more we get, the more we want. It's like drugs, we have this want for more and for bigger fixes. We live in a world that revolves around marketing schemes, 24/7, with billions of dollars spent, for the purpose of making us feel unhappy with what we have or don't have. The whole conundrum by which it works is to make us dissatisfied with who we are, how we look, where we live, and the very state of our being. The not so subtle goal is to make us miserable to the point, we give in, to make a purchase, or 'steal' someone's toy and property. So many succumb and then find out that the ‘happiness’ they bought into was shallow, if not, empty. It’s all short lived and next thing we know, we're back in the vicious cycle and begin to want something else.

I found this interesting poem. I wish i knew who had written it. It talks about the human nature, and our discontent.

It was spring, but it was summer I wanted.

The warm days and great doors. It was summer. But it was fall I wanted.

The colorful leaves and cool dry air. It was fall. Ah, but it was winter I wanted.

The beautiful snow and the joy of the holiday season. It was winter. But all in it, it was spring I wanted.

The warm blossoming of nature. I was a child. But it was adulthood I wanted.

The freedom and respect. I was 20, but it was 30 I wanted.

To be mature and sophisticated. I was middle age. Ah, but it was 20 I wanted.

The youth and the free spirit. I was retired, ah, but it was middle age I wanted.

The presence of mind without limitation. My life is over and I never got what I wanted.


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    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      8 years ago from Hawaii

      Much thanks Chaotic Chica. Life is full of choices, and some are more difficult than others, such as staying moral.

    • Chaotic Chica profile image

      Chaotic Chica 

      8 years ago

      You have a way with words that is magnificent. I truly enjoyed reading this and applaud your sense of morality. I agree, the poem was fantastic and could not have summed up our greedy ways any better.

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you C Reily! It is my hope to share my life's experiences, where others may pick up some lessons. I appreciate your visit and comment.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      9 years ago from St. Louis

      Thanks for sharing this personal story from your life. I think many can learn from your writing. I also really like the selected poem. We always wish for that which we do not have, and most often, we realize we had what we wanted all along. Thanks!

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you einron. There is only one way we can live with ourselves and that is to walk with integrity. Money destroyed my dad as well, and i would hate to make the same mistake. Thank you for being so kind.

    • einron profile image


      9 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      I have respect for your character of inner strength. Some would fall for the love of money and fame. You did not even struggle over the temptation knowing what pain the two women caused your family. You should be proud of yourself. God bless you for your integrity.

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you Shalini. You are very perceptive, if not sensitive. This family saga is not quite over, so there are things are quite 'fresh', which i may share sometime in the future. You are right about the courage to ressurect old wounds.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      9 years ago from India

      We always want what is not, don't we? I think if we can say 'sufficient unto the day...' we would all be happier people! It must have taken a lot of courage to resurrect old hurts - but it's a hub that is so meaningful - thank you!

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      That's sweet of you Kushal. Truth is, i 'needed' to write about this subject 'disturbing' as it is. The experience was more dreadful than how i had actually described it.

    • Kushal Poddar profile image

      Kushal Poddar 

      9 years ago from Kolkata,India

      It is disturbing, yet very insightful writing. The memories should consider as lessons. You are a wonderful heart. It shows in this portrayal.

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      James: Thanks for your affirmation. Hopefully our family tragedy can bring a blessing, somewhere.

      goldentoad: I don't think i can either. Thanks for the visit.

    • goldentoad profile image


      9 years ago from Free and running....

      I usually try to do without but I'm not always successful.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you for baring your personal pain in this Hub in order to drive home a great lesson. Instead of coveting, we should be thankful for the blessings we have.

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you BK. So true. With freedom comes responsibilty. It's bad enough that we want want want. Then we take it further by wanting what our neighbors have, like somebody else's husband. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as well.

    • BkCreative profile image


      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Yes, it does seem to stem from the fact that we are a consumer nation and we are taught to want, to buy, to want to buy, to want want want.

      I think, too, part of our problem is that we don't truly understand the concept of 'freedom' - with freedom comes responsibility but we conveniently leave out the part about responsibilty - responsibility to children, friends, family, neighbors, the community, etc. Just do anything you want with no thought to who else may suffer.

      What a thoughtful hub to share - thanks!


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