Jealousy...the Big Green Monster
One thing that has been literally been eating at me for some time now is the idea that we cannot be “happy” for someone else when they succeed. Why is this? Have we become a society so consumed in victory and competition that we’ve truly lost the lesson that we are only as strong as our weakest link? Or is it that we have lost our ability to sympathize with the positive? I mean, we can sympathize in times of sadness, times of loss, times of stress and worry, really any time the glass is half empty, but what happened to celebrating one another’s victories? The times when we should be truly happy for that friend or loved one when things go “right” for them? Here’s an example.
A young lady in a program that I was once a part of achieved a major milestone recently. She has worked very hard throughout her short lifetime to be the best she could be, and in doing so, she accomplished many goals and dreams. It was awesome to witness! (Even though Covid made me watch it on tv.) I actually teared up and my son was like, “Are you crying?” “Yes, yes I am. Because I know just how hard that girl has worked to get to this moment.” Later that week I sent her a card congratulating her on her “win”. Was that so hard? I wanted her to know that others in the community are proud of her accomplishment, proud of her and proud that she too is a representative of a program that means so much to so many of us women, both young and old.
Now before you roll your eyes and think to yourself, “Oh she’s just another everyone gets a trophy mom”, THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE!!!! There are milestones in life that the majority of us accomplish. You go to Kindergarten; it’s expected that you will be able to tie your shoes and be potty-trained. You turn 16; you get your permit and learn to drive. You graduate from high school. You get married. And while some of those big milestones are celebratory in nature, I do not think you need a stinking cookie every time you do “good”. However, I have pondered this lately, as I’ve taken a step back and noticed that people in general do not congratulate or celebrate their friends and family when they make some big strides. The Freshman plays Varsity, you reach the 1,000 point club, you successfully start your own business, you leave the job you’ve had for 20 years to change careers to one that better suits you, you beat the damn cancer. Why? Why can’t we say, “Way to go!” “I’m proud of you!” “You’re going to do great things!” “I’m so happy you’re finding your you !” “I knew you’d kick its ass!” Everyone…..and I literally mean everyone can come up with something negative or degrading to say, but I challenge you to find a positive.
Be the light! I want to be clear, I’m not saying you have to “be friends” with everyone. Hell, you don’t even have to like everyone, but at the end of the day, you need to encourage everyone. It is not our responsibility to understand everyone’s journey, but it is our responsibility to respect everyone’s journey. My momma always says, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!” So, I challenge all of you reading this to find words of encouragement for everyone you meet this week….at work, at school, at the gym, and especially at home. Times have been tough this last year for everyone, let’s take a minute to acknowledge the positives, celebrate the victories and fill the cup of those around us with light and positivity.