The things that you’ve listed are all aspects of living in a social system that is very hierarchical and are for the most part internal dysfunctions (for lack of a better term). Inadequacy, insecurity, and possessiveness are all about flaws (again, for lack of a better term) within the individual who is feeling jealous. In other words, when an otherwise emotionally healthy person experiences jealousy, it’s because there is a chink in their own armor — a place for them to work with something within themselves. They need to deal with their own feelings that have nothing to do with other people. And if they aren’t emotionally healthy than it’s really, really about them……

The Na of China frown on jealousy and so it doesn’t really exist in their culture. We glorify it as a sign of true caring and also of what is owed to us by others. That’s not nature — it’s societal construct.

Upon first coming to the new world, Columbus reported that the Indians “are so naive and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone….” Another Catholic priest (whose name I can’t currently remember) who wrote extensively about life in the new world reported the same thing; that the Indians were notably generous and showed no evidence of jealousy.

We live in a society that is all about mine and encourages getting what you can for yourself, even at the expense of other people. As Umair Haque said in Why The Anglo World Is Collapsing,

Democracy is not me controlling, hurting, harming, or injuring you. It is me freeing you. Liberating you. To be, do, enjoy what? Greater happiness, trust, meaning, purpose, fulfillment, worth.

But Anglo societies don’t understand any of this. Their logic is as brutal as it is foolish as it is backwards. My goal in life is to maximize my own money, power, and control. And if that means taking away your happiness, purpose, worth, value, security — very well, so be it. In fact, all the better that way — me preying on you — because it proves how worthy I really am (but I’ll get to that).

Perhaps the potential for jealousy is natural — perhaps, but since it doesn’t seem to be present in cultures that don’t encourage and allow for it, I’m going to stick with my belief that it’s overwhelmingly a function of nurture/culture.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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