I have noticed that most people cannot tell the difference between jealousy and envy. Come to think of it, they're pretty much similar with each other. Both are driven by wanting and possessing. However, jealousy can be a good thing whereas envy can never be.
According to the dictionary:
Envy - a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.
Jealousy - feeling resentment against someone because of that person's rivalry, success, or advantages
Not much difference, don't you think? Of course, I don't claim to be the authority on this but this is how I see them and how I tell them apart.
Let's start with ENVY. The dictionary's definition of envy is spot on. I completely agree with it.
The problem with telling these two apart is that most people think both are the same thing. Envy deals with coveting. Coveting, no matter where or how you look at it is simply just wrong.
According to the dictionary, to covet means to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others.
There you go.
Now, let's talk about jealousy. The more I think about these two, the more I am liking jealousy. Calm down, now. Please put the freak back inside the box, slowly. Let's not go to the extremes but take this rationally. I promise, I can be rational.
No need to repeat what the dictionary already said earlier about jealousy. I do, however, have some points to uhm, well...point out.
Jealousy is not just about desiring or wanting to posses but it also is correlated to (this is what most people fail to notice) ownership. Not just wanting to own but rather, having already owned. OWNED.
When a colleague is given the position you have been dying to have, what do you say? "I'm so jealous of her/him!" -=WRONG=- You are not jealous, you never had that position to begin with. You are envious. You want to have what she/he just got. Dig?
When your partner starts spending more time with another woman/man than with you, how do you feel? Do you feel envious? Of course not! Why should you be? You don't need to covet YOUR partner. See how the word your is emphasized?
I'm not saying you OWN your partner as you do with material things. That's another subject for another entry in itself.
When ownership has been claimed and it seemed that due credit or devotion had not been given to you, that's when you feel jealous. When you look at it in that light, jealousy is nothing but a rightful claim. Totally valid.
I know I said that jealousy can be good but only if not taken into extreme measures. C'mon...too much of even the good stuff can still be bad, right? But jealousy in itself is rather good (I'm forever the hopeless romantic). It means you belong to and with someone. You are wanted. Isn't that what the gist of most people's angst, both young ones and the once young?
"For thou shalt worship no other god:
for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:"
Exodus 34:14, KJV
GOD is absolute and everything good, just, holy, love, kind, merciful and overflowing with grace undeserved. If HE is a jealous GOD, surely jealousy can't be a bad thing now, can it?