There’s nothing new about jealousy and envy, of course.
What’s new is our cultural acceptance of it. In a world where we talk about “inequality” as the greatest problem we face, of course we support each other’s need to have as much stuff as our friends and neighbors.
You shouldn’t have to think about starving children in Africa to feel grateful for the vast wealth we all have. We live in a time and place where most people have everything they could possibly need to lead a happy existence. Yet somehow admitting you’re jealous over our friend’s vacation isn’t met with a “grow up!” but instead with an “I understand.”
Our reactions are wrong. The proper response to irrational jealousy isn’t to coddle it, but to condemn it.