Keep a lid on jealousySunday, February 28, 2021
IMAGINE sitting and enjoying lunch with a friend and you hear that the person has just bought a new house. What is more, the house is in the area you wanted to buy yours. You had actually tried getting one but you were denied.
Deep down, you feel that you are more qualified than your friend. When the news hit, you almost choked on the piece of food you were eating, but quickly got a hold of yourself. A sick feeling overtook your stomach and threatened to overtake your body. What could be happening to you? Jealousy.
Bad for health
Jealousy is hard to suppress. So powerful it is that an ancient Hebrew proverb asks: “Who can stand before it?”
While there may be cases of momentary jealousy that all of as humans may experience from time to time, when these feelings are prolonged, they can be overwhelming and harmful to health.
Sometimes it may show up when you least expect, blurring your thought process and the things you do. A jealous person easily imputes wrong motives to others and sees others as rivals.
Jealousy may even deteriorate into envy, which causes you to think of ways of getting possession of the thing a next person has. It foments anger, ruins friendships, robs you of sleep, causes great mental anguish, and can lead one to plot murder and steal.
Focus on doing good
Much of our actions are influenced by our thoughts. Since jealousy starts in the mind, fight hard to repudiate those feelings. When those feelings threaten to overtake you, try thinking on good, positive things.
Remember, jealousy is bound up with love for self. Forcing yourself to do right and having proper, wholesome love for others is not bad. Also, when something good has happened for a friend, rejoice and try to celebrate and embrace it. You may never know, something better may be in store for you, since each dog has his day and, in turn, you would want others to celebrate your day with you.
Giving kind reassurance
Sometimes parents can play a crucial role by nipping jealousy in the bud if perceived in a child, helping the child to see that it is not good. The parent should go further by helping the jealous child to see that he or she possesses other things others do not.
Even if we are adults and a parent or trusted friend were to identify this in us, we would do well to take the time to reflect and see if the observations have merit. Sometimes we see jealously in a friend and a reassuring word from us can help, especially where a friend may feel insecure over a new friendship we may have forged.
Also, speaking to someone mature about feelings of jealousy you may be harbouring is a step in the right direction.
Don't incite jealousy in others
If we boast of achievements, this may stir up jealousy in others. We would not want to do that. There is little need for us to flaunt things on others to stir up unneeded emotions in them. Being modest while trying to help others achieve are enduring qualities to seek.
Jealousy can go deep to the bones. It is bad for our health. Why not let us do what we can to uproot it or keep it under control?
Warrick Lattibeaudiere, PhD, a minister of religion for the past 23 years, lectures full-time in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica, where he is also director of the Language, Teaching and Research Centre. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login