(Excerpt from Wanting by Luke Burgis)
rivalry is a function of proximity. When people are separated from us by enough time, space, money, or status, there is no way to compete seriously with them for the same opportunities. We don’t view models in Celebristan as threatening because they probably don’t care enough about us to adopt our desires as their own.
… an important feature of Celebristan models: because there’s no threat of conflict, they are generally imitated freely and openly.
… In Freshmanistan, people occupy the same space as their models, so they have to wonder at them in secret amazement. They could never admit the embarrassing truth that they want to be more like their neighbors, colleagues, or maybe even one of their friends.
… Harder to name are the people who come from inside our world and who might be modeling rivalrous or unhealthy behaviors—the people around whom we orbit without knowing it, who affect what we want.
… Here’s one way to identify them: think seriously about the people you least want to see succeed.