The Real Issue:
Can You Be Happy for the Happiness of Others?
Can you genuinely be happy for someone else’s success? Don’t answer too quickly. Take a moment and ponder this question.
When you hear that someone has fallen in love, gotten engaged, is having a baby; when you see that someone has lost weight, gotten a promotion or graduated do you immediately think of all they’ve been through or do you only see the outcome and wonder about their secret advantage?
We have been fed on the notion of competition and comparison. It’s not enough to get exactly what you want, we’ve all been brainwashed into wanting what others have.
Before you know it, we’re all jealous of someone else. This is bad enough, but to make matters even worse, we’ve all come to believe in the theory of the “unfair advantage.”
Now, we think that the folks who’ve been the disadvantaged have somehow become the advantaged.
All attempts to right hundreds of years of wrongs are seen as handouts to an undeserving minority of folks who have never ever worked as hard as you have and therefore did not earn what you so rightly deserve.
When you look at things through the eyes of equality, you can see that privilege is not the issue; entitlement is.
When we argue that we deserve something because it’s always been that way, we are arguing for the right to be entitled.
The whole this is mine because of who I am is the core of entitlement, and entitlement comes from a diet of keeping up with the Joneses, the Kardashians, the Hiltons, and anyone else you think of as having IT.
If this all sounds too simplified, then just sit with it for a day.
Try to go about without thinking about what someone else has and then try hard not to wonder how they got it.
Try your best to be happy for each and every piece of good news and then try even harder to not gloat when someone misses their own mark.
Our stuff runs deep. It lives in a pit of despair and fear about you not being good enough.
Wake up to the fact that you are wonderful as you are; that you deserve what you work for and we all can be and have our just deserts.
There has never been one pie that only feeds a few. There is so much more and even more to be discovered.
Be you, be well, be your own.
Bertice Berry, PhD.