Envy, like greed and lust, is characterized by an insatiable desire. Envy is the opposite of pride, a malcontented comparison of your own status, abilities, or rewards. The difference with simple jealousy is that the envious also desire the thing that their jealousy is directed at.
Do I get jealous? Yes, of course I do. I see someone in an E-Type drive past with the roof down and I think, “Wow, I’d like one of those!” Am I envious of the driver? Not really. I’d like to drive an E-Type, but I don’t want the hassle or the responsibility of owning one. I used to have an XJS. Loved it so much I bought a second one a few years later. I’m envious of XJS drivers because I really REALLY want another. I won’t really like my driving experience until I get one. (Yes, I’m always on the look out for the right one: a pre-1992 5.3 litre V12, in regency red with cream leather interior and 19″ lattice wheels. If you know of one going?).
I hate my current car. I’m not even going to tell you what it is. I only got it because after the bus crashed into my last one it was lent to me, and I eventually thought, fuck it, I might as well buy it. It falls into the large category of cars that are “Not-an-XJS” It could be anything, so it might as well be that one.
Jealousy and envy in relationships are different. I have what I want, so why would I be envious of something else? Jealous? Perhaps of her time and her attention, but a wish to be her focus is a normal and non-threatening part of caring for someone, of being in a relationship. If it were to cross over into an envy, that would be destructive, I think that would be a cause for concern for everyone involved. That’s why the sin is envy, not jealousy.
Verdict: It probably depends on your perspective.
All of The Deadly Seven
© Charles Rochester 2016