Is jealousy really such a bad thing?

I know I'm not supposed to, but I get jealous easily. Not necessarily an evil, seedy kind of jealous, but you know what I mean. Envious. Covetous of what someone else has or the adventures they've had that make my life pale in comparison. It's not the most attractive part of me, but it's there.

I've been thinking about jealousy a lot lately, though. As I'm quite ready to graduate from college in two months, I'm constantly thinking about jobs, my expected quality of life, and yes, a lot about money. Being just out of college, I'm not expecting to be able to afford trips and shopping sprees and meals out all the time, but there is a certain level of comfort I'd like out of my life. Will I get all of it? Of course not. I can't expect everything to be like I'd like it to be, but I can hope for the best. When I see others living their lives the way I'd like to someday, I get jealous. But I don't necessarily think that's such an awful thing.

via tumblr

Jealousy can easily turn ugly and mean and gross. It can cast such an awful shadow over someone who otherwise is perfectly content and happy. Jealousy can bring out the most awful parts of ourselves, but it can also be a motivator. For me, I see how wonderful my friends' and family's lives have been, be it because of money, experiences, or otherwise, and I ask myself,

"How can I get myself there?"

The ugly part of being envious is when you hold whatever a person has against him. It's when you become resentful, which can sometimes be difficult. When you let it eat you up. I don't want to stop being jealous, though, because I want to push myself to celebrate the things that others have and work hard so that I can enjoy that too.

I have friends who completely disagree and say that jealousy goes hand in hand with envy and resentment. What are your thoughts?