Getting Through the Holidays without Schadenfreude
Most of us are at the point that we just want to get through the holidays, whatever it takes. So, what is this schadenfreude stuff to worry about?
The classic definition is “pleasure at another person’s misfortune." Now this is the time of goodwill toward all. Right? So, no one would dance around about another person being in a bad state. Yet, we do…..all the time.
And our politicians lead the pack delighting in the stings and arrows directed at others, say, for example, the President. I wonder if they know this is a goodwill time. Except I do believe they have calendars, know they will be home for the holidays, know there is a beautiful, decorated tree at the White House and another equally wonderful one at Rockefeller Center.
Everyone has been trained to meet and greet with tidings of good cheer. However, even the ads are schadenfreude infested. They show folks upset because someone else got a better deal on a car, or toaster, or shoes.
If you are not going to a warm island after Christmas, well, you just have not made it. Those who have to stay put are seen as green with envy.
Where are the films that give us a sense of connection, of meaning for this time of year? “Miracle on 34th Street” is a vintage flick and not much that is coming out now shows hands extended in generosity of spirit.
The stress most of us feel is making us cranky. And sadly, there seems to be delight in thoughts of revenge. Maybe the loud mouth exercise buff in the next cubicle who keeps telling you what to eat and how to live is diagnosed with something, not life threatening, just enough to keep him from proselytizing about his food preferences, and you feel, yeah, you feel smug as you sink your teeth into a Krispy Kreme donut.Continued on the next page