With Envy and jealousy so closely defined, we need to clarify what they mean before we admit to envying anyone. OK then, let’s dig in.
As a Catholic kid growing up, we were taught jealousy was a sin, as was envy (they were treated as the same sin), and we shouldn’t want what another has; i.e., their house, their boyfriend/girlfriend/car/job or lifestyle. It was wrong to covet. Coveting is kind of like stealing, but just in your mind, and if you’re Catholic and think of doing something, it’s just as wrong as if you actually DID it. Yikes!
Here, I would insert a smart-alecky joke saying, if it’s just as much sin if I do something as think about doing something, I might as well do it and have fun.
Consulting GOOGLE, the Bible of modern definitions; it’s important to mention there is nothing wrong with feeling jealousy or envious – within reason. It’s when you begin to plot and/or take actual action to steal another’s belongings it becomes wrong. Liking a neighbor’s car, with it inspiring you working more to make more money to buy one like it is not wrong; in fact, it’s a good thing. You are inspired to get your own. No problems.
Jealousy is considered worse, since it suggests harboring ill will towards someone who has what you want. Envy is something impersonal and passing. No ill will is harbored.
Sure, when I was a poor single-mom who was living paycheck to paycheck, I envied people who were married and seemed to “have it all.” Often, having it all also meant sacrificing it all, and their lives were not anything to be envied. Often, having respect for yourself was more important than having a nice house, car, bank account. It just depends on where your values are, and how you decide to live. Giving up all your principles for a rich husband is not the right thing to do. Giving up security to preserve the growing child’s self-worth is worthy.
As we enter this Christmas season, let’s remember what is important in the grand scheme of things. Our children are indeed our future, and we must expose them to learning and especially the arts, it helps them grow and stretch into the people they will be who will inhabit this world. The world is full of beauty, and wonder, and things to be in awe of. Let’s treat our world and ourselves well, and carry the wonderment and awe at the world, sharing it with our children. They will certainly share the message, sharing it in ways we haven’t before. It’s what makes the world go on. Let’s help it.
I’ve been jealous of beautiful people (when I was younger); envious of people who made the Dean’s List in High School. I never did, but it was a goal. I did it in College, after I was an adult. Probably harder to do it then, while raising kids and working full time. It all depends on circumstances, my dears. Take it easy on yourself! Take care of your others today, be safe in your dealings with the world. Celebrate the wins in the universe, and enjoy the beauty of it all. It’s what it’s all there for. See you tomorrow!