Kate wrote that I don't have a jealous bone in my body and that I am always bragging about the accomplishments of my friend's children. I am tremendously flattered by Kate's perception of me but let me give some explanation and make some corrections.
First, I always brag about my friend's children and, for that matter, my friends and family, because I truly love them. I love my family and friends an I love all children. I am a teacher by profession and I love children and I am always amazed by their good nature and tremendous zeal toward life. I love what they do and what they say. I feel like a mother to all of them and that I must say is just my nature.
Now, to the part about jealousy. I think that all mankind has jealous tendencies and that is why we are commanded not to covet our neighbors.
As my friend Amy always says, those rules are there for a reason. It's because we need them!
I don't believe a person has to practice religion to KNOW this. It is an ethical and conscious decision not to be jealous. But, not being envious of others, comes from focusing on the blessings that exist in one's own life, and, religion, or purposeful practice in ethical behavior, make this a more natural and consistent part of everyday living.
I think not being envious takes practice and wisdom. And, wisdom comes with age! Some people are more innately gifted than others. Some people are born with a greater tendency toward empathy, compassion, awareness, but for me, age did the trick. It helped me realize that what I have is mine and I am appreciative of that.
Which makes me wonder how Kate could think I was not green with envy back in 1996, when she lived across the street from me with her five children.
Kate was grounded in her faith;I was not!
Kate home schooled her children, and me, with my Columbia MA in teaching did not have the nerve to home school my children, even though I knew it was best for them, and I wanted to so badly.
Kate read the newspaper every morning and watched interesting movies with her kids-remembering everything she read and saw and discussing anything so knowledgeably; I have a memory the size of a pea. Although my husband will tell you that is only my short term memory. I have a knack for remembering every little thing he ever did wrong.
She is tall and thin and beautiful(I tried to upload a pic, but couldn't so until I am able to, you'll have to use your imagination!
Kate sat at her computer and wrote;I could only remember the writers block I had in college. Kate fed her five children dinner every night; while I was ordering in.
Her kids where so capable. They made Nutella sandwiches and spread soft butter on there toast( I know that is a non-jewish thing, cuz growing up in my house, the Breakstone butter was always hard and cold.)
Her kids did chores, made their beds, my kids were, how should I say this, Taken Care Of! King David's if you will. (I couldn't help it, I'm a Jewish mother with boys)
Need I say more. Envy abounds in this soul of mine. It is just under wraps! At 50, I, now more than ever, appreciate the bounty I was given and the many many blessings in my own life.
And since we all like to know how a story ends, I will tell you that while my kids eat Nutella and eat soft butter on their bread, it is I who makes their meals and makes their beds. Not something to be proud of, but I appreciate that they are MY King Davids and this is MY way, in MY life. How's that for using perception to trick yourself into loving your own reality!