I make my family hearty, whole wheat bread and rolls. A lot of love goes into my baking, not to mention the healthiest ingredients that I can find. So when my son told me one day, "Mommy, I want you to buy me a roll for my lunch," I was heartbroken to say the least. Here my son gets organic, homemade whole wheat bread and what does he want? A store bought, plain white roll. Does this make sense to you?

"Of course," you tell me, especially when you find out that the person sitting next to him every morning on the school bus has in his lunch a store bought white roll. I didn't even bother to preach to him, "But my rolls are better. They are made with the best ingredients; they are healthier; they are homemade, etc. "

I didn't even bother to preach to himI didn't bother attacking the store bought roll, saying "Those are empty calories; they taste like stale paper; his mother doesn't even know how to make bread!"- even though I really wanted to. All I did was tell him:

"I hear you. I know that you want the store's rolls." (First step, as I learned in my parenting class: validate the request.)

"I love you and I want to give you the best. This is the best for you and the store bought roll is the best for him. I don't buy white rolls. Period." (Second step, as I learned in my parenting class: make a general statement; state the ground rules without ordering or demanding.)

He hasn't mentioned it again and the subject was dropped. I did however buy him a whole wheat roll when I found one at the bakery. (Third step, as I learned in my parenting class: when you can comply, comply.)

Now breads and rolls aside- this request and the arguments that I hear or see daily about always wanting what the other has, well, they depress me. For example, when there is only one green apple left in the refrigerator and my son starts to eat it. M daughter then throws a fit because she now wants it. (She didn't want it before he started chomping on it.) Or my daughter picks up a toy, my son drops then drops the ten that he was playing with and decides that the one toy my daughter has is the one that he wants. You get the picture. Why is it that children always want what the other one has?

I stop for a moment and think about what I just said. Are we adults any better?

Are we adults any better? "Why did he get the promotion and raise and not me?" "Why do I have to struggle for everything and for her it comes so easy?" "Did you see their new car? Why do I have to still drive this old jalopy?" "Everyone except for me gets to take a vacation."

Is the nature of man to always want what the other has and to never be satisfied with what one does have? Based on this it appears that the answer is yes, but is there anything that can be done about it? Can we ever be happy with what we have?

First Step: Whatever I have only corresponds to me. Whatever anyone else has only corresponds to them. The Talmud teaches us that no one can touch what is designated for another person. If you know that the other person's possessions don't even correspond to you, then what is there to be envious of?

Second Step: Is the grass really greener on the other side? It certainly appears that way, but as the prophet says, "For a person sees the eyes and G‑d sees the heart (Samuel I, 16:7)." No one really knows the trials and tribulations of another person and I guarantee you that if you did, you certainly wouldn't want to change places.

The Talmud relates how the son of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, Rav Yosef was very sick. His heart stopped beating and he was clinically dead. He miraculously recuperated after his soul had entered the threshold of the world to come. His father asked him, "What did you see?"

Rav Yosef answered, "I saw the world upside down. The high were low and the low were high."

His father commented, "You saw a clear world (how things really are and not as how they appear)."

If we could really step into the shoes of another person, whether they be boots, high heels, or platforms you would find them terribly uncomfortable. G‑d gives every person what they need and when they need it. If you don't have it then you really don't need it and if you do then it means that there is a purpose to your having it.

Third Step: It's not even mine to begin with; it's all G‑d's. Now this one might seem hard to grasp, but I tell you it's wonderful, especially when your toddler is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket. At the moment when you most want to crawl into a hole due to embarrassment, look up to the Heavens and quietly say, "Remember G‑d, he's not mine, he's Yours and I'm just watching him for You. Can you please help me with this?" You can now calmly smile at everyone and tell anyone who asks, "He's not mine, I'm just taking care of him." I assure you that your ego will no longer get in the way and you will find yourself calm and composed about the whole thing. You'll also have nothing to be jealous of when you see your friend's toddler behaving like a total angel because after all, their kid isn't theirs either! So really, what is there to be jealous about anyways?