People are different…we are born with different personalities…we are raised in different environments…thus Nature vs Nurture. This subject never fails to interest me.
There is one emotion that especially bothers me. J-E-A-L-O-U-S-Y is the most useless and harmful of all human(and animal) emotions. In the day care setting, I observe human behavior every day. Actually, watching babies is fascinating because they are basically blank slates. I have noticed some differences between the genders and their needs. Moreover, it seems the babies come with predetermined dispositions. I have not run double blind studies but the 35 years as a caregiver have offered more than a small sampling of observations.
Currently, I have some kids who compare and concern themselves with the “goings on” of others an awfully lot.
The pros to this are:
- Learning from the mistakes of others.
- More ideas the merrier.
- Never miss activities due to concentration on their own thing.
The cons to this are:
- Never satisfied to be themselves.
- Measuring what others have takes energy away from fun.
- Taking anything but total equality as a personal insult.
Since I do not have a “jealousy gene” that I am aware of, this behavior really BUGS me. I try to understand it and I realize it is beyond their total control. I do not think that jealousy comes from insecurity, as often as it comes from, the individual’s nature. The kids have offered a unique study for me.
Envy and jealousy are absolutely different emotions. Of course, we all envy a lottery winner. But a jealous person is one who wishes ill upon the winner or dwells on the fact that THEY did not win. (Doesn’t even matter if they,themselves, ever played the game!)
Now, the idea that this ” jealousy factor” seems to run in families could be evidence for the nurture argument. Take a closer look at those families. Are they all jealous people or are some of them inheriting the trait while others do not have it?
I believe there must be a jealousy gene. I also believe that our personal capacity to feel joy comes from a genetic predisposition more than an environmental cause, as well.
Look around if this idea interests you…let me know what you discover.