Heart of the Home

| March 2007

Cousin's words drove out envy

In the 1930s and '40s, the most popular little girl in the nation was Shirley Temple. With her blond, curly hair and dimpled smile, she starred in movie after movie, and despite it's being the Depression, Shirley Temple dolls were flying off the store shelves. That's when my envy began.

My cousin Frances and I were born in 1934, and we lived next door to each other, so we spent a great deal of time together. It never mattered that her hair was blond and mine was dark brown, until the day she got a Shirley Temple doll. Suddenly, everyone began saying how much Frances looked like Shirley Temple, and they gave her more attention than they gave me. I was so jealous, I started to hate my cousin.

It was strange how the envy went away the day my cousin confided to me that she hated being an only child and would give anything if she had a brother like I did. I couldn't believe it. All the time I was envying her, she had been envying me!

I learned that day that everyone has something that other people wish they had, so I conquered my envy with a new appreciation of all the good things I had in my life.
San Diego


Envious behavior lowered her grade

I attended country school as a youngster in the 1930s. During the Depression, we did not have a lot of money, so I often wore my older sister's hand-me-downs.

There were a couple of girls at school who were my age, and whom I played with. They didn't have older sisters, so they did not wear hand-me-downs. I was always a little envious of them. One day when Shirley appeared in a new smock that her mother had made, I wrote a note to Dorothy exclaiming, 'Shirley sure thinks she's smart in her new smock!'

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