On being jealous…

Jealousy is a common human trait. We would have to admit that we have been jealous or envious of someone at some stage of our lives. It may be as silly as a car, to bigger things such as someone having your dream job, or a much better pay package, a bigger house, a better lifestyle…

But think of it. The jealousy you feel is only for moments, and many times it vanishes as fast as it comes. Just goes to show how shallow that thought is. As long as we feel that someone is equal or lesser in stature, we are ok. But higher than me?

Many of us choose envy, instead of being happy for the other.

And what does jealousy lead to? Unhappiness. Anger, disappointment that we cannot get what the other has. We feel dejected with ourselves. Of what use can such a feeling be?

But it is natural, you might say. You have a point there. Psychologists say that there are certain limbic system processes (commonly called emotions), that are triggered automatically – but here’s the thing. It takes one and a half minutes to be triggered, and for the associated chemical to surge through us, and be flushed out of our bloodstream. That’s 90 seconds – and the automatic response is over. Post that, we choose to continue that emotion.

And this is an important point- we can choose to continue it, we can choose NOT to continue it as well. All it takes is a bit of awareness, that we can cultivate.

The greats say that one who envies another’s wealth, can never aspire for wealth himself. The second wealth that they speak about, is spiritual wealth. For us ordinary beings – it is contentment, happiness, satisfaction. Isn’t that we all look for?