I read the book, Callings by Gregg Levoy, a few years ago.  He posits that God communicates with us all the time but we just don't pay attention.  I try to pay attention, at least some of the time.  Lately, I have been bumping into the word schadenfreude.  It was first in the context of the election, regarding how Democrats were experiencing schadenfreude when they found themselves with so many wins against Republicans.

Schadenfreude is defined as pleasure derived from the misfortune or pain of others.  It can be directed towards persons that have success that make you feel inferior.  For example, the fascination with Tiger Woods fall from grace or even General Petraeus' unfortunate circumstance.  It could also be directed at someone who has wronged you in some way.

It occurs to me that schadenfreude is practicing the diametric opposition of compassion.  It implies an understanding of the other persons feelings (empathy) but instead of sympathizing, there is reveling in the negative emotion of the other.  To push this farther, doing this diminishes compassion.  
I don't want to engage in that.

It reminds me of the importance of self reflection.

--Dave
 



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