Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rowling all over zero-sum envy

Philosopher Stephen Hicks has an excellent post at his website where he highlights a good example of envy-driven spite at excellence.  The target is the most successful writer in history, J.K. Rowling, and the attacker is a novelist who believes it unfair that Rowling continues to publish novels.  Here's Hicks dropping a bit of scathing sarcasm on the envy-ridden novelist:
So we should be glad that Jane Austen and Agatha Christie finally stopped writing; Apple should stop making stuff in order to give other manufacturers a chance;  perhaps Ms. Shepherd, with at least six published books herself, should make room for the under-published; and if only the Canadians would stop playing hockey so other countries could win Olympic gold.
But Hicks is a compassionate, thoughtful person and rather than linger on the pettiness of Ms. Shepard, he turns positive by suggesting ways that all of us can use the success of others such as Rowling, to our advantage.  Here's a little slice of that aspect of Hicks's post:
...let me suggest why Shepherd should be happy about Rowling’s publication and see her as an ally.
* Justice. Rowling has legitimately earned a huge, excited fan base, and simple justice means that we should respect achievement.
* Writer education. What is it about Rowling’s writing that makes it so popular? Perhaps we other authors can learn from her and improve our own writing.
Great stuff by a great philosopher.