The book I just finished reading introduced me to an intriguing concept, "healthy jealousy:"
think there's a difference. Mean jealousy pulls people down so they'll
be on the same level with us, or pushes them down on our way up. But a
healthy jealousy is sometimes just the push we need to jump for
ourselves. Sometimes we need to look at someone who is doing something
difficult, or dangerous, so that we know we can do it too. It's that
sense of 'I want what you have,' that makes the risk seem worth it."
--Allison Vesterfelt, Packing Light: Thoughts on Living Life with Less Baggage
think she means that if jealousy inspires us to take action, to move
toward a goal, and not to do it at anyone else's expense, it can
actually be a positive motivator. I'd never thought of it that way
before. Can jealousy or envy be a good thing sometimes?