Schaudenfreude – it is a German word that means “pleasure people take in seeing other people’s misery.” Unfamiliar term yet surprisingly, the meaning is too common that we see familiar scenarios everywhere. In our neighborhood, on our way to work, school, et.al., From my vantage point, I guess that is why telenovelas or soap operas exist in the first place. As mournful as it may seem, but the twisted truth is revealed – that people love to scrutinize the garbage of their neighbors. Worse, we love showcasing their insecurities, problems and even their psychological challenges just so we can feel better for ourselves.
The world is filled with charlatans. With a grieving sigh, it is an immutable part that has already been deeply etched into human society. It takes real courage to break free from the bondage of the thick metal chains of having an insatiable appetite to meddle, pre-judge and even have sanctimonious views about others. I dare to differ. I stare into the middle distance as slowly I coerce myself to be open with the wonders of the mundane.
I read from somewhere a great quote which says, “You’re only as respectable as the man facing you.” Looking at others’ faults does not help us come close with having a strong sense of righteousness. Whether we are dealing with the high and mighty or the so-called scabs of the society, we have no right to bask on their weaknesses just to attain a level of righteousness. If that is rightly so, then we are just slipping away from the thinnest layer of moral fiber in no time at all. Instead of feeling glorified as we see others downhearted with their debacle, we should allow our hearts be touched with sympathy. After all, a warm heart is way better than a name that is dragged in the muck.
We may probably dig a big hole from our own backyard to bury our have-nots. Even if we cover them with mud and seen only from six feet under, sooner or later, the stingy smell will lead others banging our doors. Are you afraid that as you open the door, your neighbors will smell your self-taught dignity stinker than your moral bin? So before assuming that you are better than others because of their present situations, chew your lips first before considering the answers.
As the time worn saying goes, “Judge each day not by the harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” So whatever we give out to others, our impartial God will eventually give back to us a bounty of the sweetest fruits that are rightfully ours. He was always one for respecting others. He was the first to taught us not to act “higher” than anyone, regardless of his position or stature in life.
We vow to do better and be better for ourselves and for others. By doing so, we can ward off the darkness. Being open to the wonders of the mundane will allow us to feel the light of compassion. Because of imperfection we may still feel the heavy pull of our own demons once in a while. When that happens, throw in a monkey wrench with all the breath and depth of our existence. Then, we will surely see a glimpse of glory from the mundane.