When you get in the habit of doing that, people love to bring you their good news, because then they can depend on someone being just as happy for them as they are for themselves.]]>
I’m happy for them, unless I know that their good fortunate occurred via “thou shalt not kill, steal, lie, etc.”. In that case I feel sorry for them.]]>
Once I’d figured that out, it was obvious that the same holds true of my physical fitness, or developing my talents, or whatever. In a few short months I went from envying others who had more or did better than I to being inspired by their examples.
It’s a very liberating state of mind, and I’m rather ashamed it took me until my middle 30s to figure it out.]]>
I also have a hard time getting genuinely happy for someone for something I either don’t care about or don’t approve of. I have students tell me how great it is they’re getting a tattoo or piercing and I just half heartedly try to show my care. They’re not members so it’s not really “bad” and as their teacher I’m in no position to lecture on the subject.]]>
Some great answers from that talk are:
How does this happen, especially when we wish so much that it would not? I think one of the reasons is that every day we see allurements of one kind or another that tell us what we have is not enough. Someone or something is forever telling us we need to be more handsome or more wealthy, more applauded or more admired than we see ourselves as being. We are told we haven’t collected enough possessions or gone to enough fun places. We are bombarded with the message that on the world’s scale of things we have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.6 Some days it is as if we have been locked in a cubicle of a great and spacious building where the only thing on the TV is a never-ending soap opera entitled Vain Imaginations.
Most “thou shalt not” commandments are meant to keep us from hurting others, but I am convinced the commandment not to covet is meant to keep us from hurting ourselves.]]>
It was always frustrating to be around them because any time someone else (like us) went on a trip (even though work paid for it), we were suddenly not “good enough” because we were not “poor enough”. It’s easy not to want to be around that type of attitude.
FWIW–I suffer with this, too, though. But it’s not about money. It’s always about talent and/or getting to where they want to be. It’s hard not to compare myself and wish I were better/smarter/more creative. I have to remind myself (constantly) to be grateful for who I am and for the talents I have been blessed with…]]>