Cardcaptor Sakura and a World Without Envy

In an early episode of this classic anime series, Tomoyo, one of Sakura’s friends, gets out of a convoy, surrounded by bodyguards. She obviously comes from wealth.

Enchanted by the display, Sakura remarks that not many school kids have their very own bodyguards.

“Well,” remarks Tomoyo, “There are even fewer who have their own magical powers.” This isn’t said with snark, just a stating of the facts.

“Guess so,” says Sakura, and the episode continues without missing a beat. None of this is presented in a negative way. Sakura thinks it is really neat to have bodyguards. Tomoyo thinks it is really neat to have magical powers. Both are happy for the other, without a trace of envy or covetousness.

I found this extremely refreshing. A more recent show might have Sakura feel jealous about Tomoyo’s wealth, and have Tomoyo resentful that Sakura was the one chosen to have magical powers. Or have Tomoyo resentful for the burden that having wealthy parents has placed on her lifestyle, and the entire episode would be an exercise in entitled introspection and discontentment.

But no.

Both friends can treat the blessings (or should I say, “privileges”) the other has as good things, with no guilt-trips or qualifications.

And so it should be in our own relationships.

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