Jealousy in children! Will it ever stop? As adults, we have to examine our own behavior before we can answer this question.
Jealousy unfortunately does exist in adulthood. About eight years ago, I diverted from teaching for a short time because the county I had moved into after I remarried was closing down schools right, left and center. So I went back into administrative support as a Pathology Transcriptionist. The chief pathologist turned out to be the best friend of a pathologist I had worked for many years in the past. He also seemed to respect me more than my cohort. I forget what it was, but I suggested to the chief pathologist that doing something in a different way would be more efficient. He automatically took my advice and thanked me for the idea. My cohort had been in her job for six years and tried to persuade him of the same and got nowhere. That same day, I did not know how to spell a term I had never heard of before, so I asked my cohort. Her reply was that I was the one with the master’s degree; I should know how to spell it. I took a deep breath and asked where that was coming from. She told me that she had been trying for six years to accomplish what I had accomplished in two seconds. I explained that a master’s degree did not mean that I had anything over her. She was an expert in her field and I respected her for that. We later found out that we both had an only child, both girls. We loved to share our memories of our daughters as they were growing up. It thrilled us. We knew we were not boring the other. We are friends to this day.
I have observed women who were jealous of another young lady for effortlessly attracting the attention of a particularly good-looking young man. The women had tried to show more cleavage or more leg and heavily flirted. The young man passed them by. These women who had sleazed themselves up had the nerve to call the clean young lady a tramp. Hmmm?
Jealousy exists for men as well. Men are brought up to think they have to be the big provider. Yes, even today. So if another man his age has a fancy car, a bigger house, a bigger flat screen TV or the latest most expensive gadget, he feels less worthy. Why does this feeling perpetuate?
Teens fight and kill over clothes, electronics, friendships and perceived differences.
A driver’s education teacher of mine had once said, “You cannot love anyone successfully unless you love yourself first.” I thought to myself, “How selfish!” But it is true. So maybe the reason we have not abolished jealousy in our culture is because we as adults have not worked out our own jealousies first.
Let’s get cracking, people! We are not giving our children the right message by allowing jealousy to even be an emotion. There is nothing in this world worth being jealous about. “The grass is greener on the other side” is really true. There may, and usually is, more to what you see. You may see a perfect, idyllic life full of worldly possessions, where there may be something amiss that you don’t see. There is no real reason to be jealous. Let’s stamp jealousy out of our culture now!