You know, it never occurred to me that there was word opposite of schadenfreude. I don’t know what that says about me. I don’t think anything good.
Schadenfreude means deriving pleasure from someone’s misfortune. Confelicity means finding pleasure in someone’s joy.
My schadenfreude has been swollen and itchy for months.
Every indictment handed down makes the schadenfreude flare up. When a monstrous piece of shit doctor who molested 150 girls gets a sentence which ensures he will die in prison, I feel a dark little glee that is warm and not unpleasant. It feels satisfying and righteous. The burn feels clean and justified.
We know the truth, though, don’t we?
We know as good as schadenfreude feels, there’s something off. Something not right. Something we should pay attention to, but don’t because the burn feels so good.
Enjoying the misery of others can be a drug.
I get my news from Twitter. Everything breaks there first. There are always links to many sources. Also, people are hilarious.
The downside is reading tweets from the orange psycho puff’s deplorable base.
I read a thread this morning where hundreds of his supporters chimed in and I realized that most stand for nothing.
Mostly, they are just tickled to death over the thought of a liberal being unhappy. They seem obsessed with consuming the tear duct secretions of left leaning people. The crowing over how upset the “libtards” are going to be over whatever Alex Jones or Fox news tells them is overwhelmingly loud.
They seem rabid and ignorant and frightened. They seem broken and lost. The vitriol against liberals is breathtaking and sad.
I don’t want to be that.
I don’t want to sit on the edge my seat and wait for other people to take a hit.
I don’t want most of my smiles and laughs to be prompted by the misery of others.
I don’t want to become so attached to that dark glee that I seek it out.
I try to seek out stories of hope and redemption. Stories where we help each other. Stories about epiphanies and change and love. Also, stories about kitties because kitties are the best.
I am not suggesting I will suppress my schadenfreude feelings. When 45 and his crew of Batman villains get shut down, I will welcome and revel in the dark joy. I am human and I feel how I feel.
I will not, however, become addicted to schadenfreude. I will let go when it is time to let go. Because when all is said and done, everyone in this country still have to live together. We have to find a way to live together.
Getting our warmth from the misery of others isn’t going to be helpful in finding ways to coexist.
But I fear many people, addicted to that righteous dark glee, would even consider letting it go. I believe this belongs to both sides. Left and right are holding on to their indignation instead of finding ways to share our space.
I am afraid we are going to be broken for a long time.
No matter. We can’t change what we can’t change.
We can focus on ourselves. We can share stories about healing. Perhaps not exclusively, but it just can’t all bad stuff. We can find joy in the joy of others.
There are still people who want to help. There are still stories of love and selflessness. We need to make our own joyful stories and we need to share the joyful stories of our sisters and brothers.
So, hit me. What’s the best “good” story you’ve read recently?
Here is one of my favorite recent stories. Perhaps there is a little bit (okay, a lot) of “fuck you” in this one, but it is still amazing.