12/31/2013 08:59 am ET Updated Mar 01, 2014

Jealousy: A Little Goes a Long Way

There's no way to quantify a feeling, but if there were, jealousy would be at the top of the list entitled, "the best ways to destroy yourself from within." Jealousy manifests itself through every other emotion; it's the gateway to hate, to fear, to despair. People that allow it to fester within them end up being consumed by it. Like a drug, it will affect your perception of things as they are, your view will be distorted.

When I was a small boy I wanted to have things other kids in the neighborhood had, it's normal to want those things. I specifically remember a boy whose parents always bought him the best of the best. Particularly in the category of bicycles. In 1987 the bike to have was a GT performer with white wheels. These bikes were hundreds of dollars and completely out of reach for our family of seven, of which I was the oldest child, while my father was getting his PHD at UC Irvine.

The bike was beautiful, it was as good as it got for an 8 year old boy. I remember specifically wanting a bike like it so much that I could taste it. The desire still lingers today. I wasn't the only boy who wanted to have a GT performer. There was one boy, whose name shall remain anonymous, who not only wanted a bike like that, he wanted that specific bike, which posed a problem for its current owner.

The bike ended up disappearing for nearly a week and when the dust settled there was a destroyed bike, a broken heart and a troubled boy whose jealousy got the better of him. As much as I wanted a bike like that, I didn't want his bike, most of my learning experiences have come from my own mistakes, but in this particular case, I was able to watch from the sidelines and learn. Many times we don't learn the lesson as its being taught, it often takes years for us to look back and recognize the events significance. As I look back on the the events that transpired that week and the aftermath, I recognize that both parties lost. The bike was never replaced, and the boy that destroyed it remained bitter.

There is no solution to any problem that allows for jealousy as part of its solution. While feelings cannot be quantified, only felt, there is none heavier in my heart. I usually give a few tips or suggestions about how to build good habits or avoid pitfalls, this subject has no tips, no guidelines. Only one thing can be said for jealousy, avoid it like the plague or it will consume your body, mind, and soul.

As I continue through this journey of life and I meet all of the people that make it so diverse, I am always reminded of the good that exists and the love and the care that can make life wonderful, but like so many things negative, a little goes a long way.