Don't Be the Great Somebody
Have you ever felt jealous watching someone else succeed? Maybe they get a promotion, catch a big break, or stumble into an incredible opportunity.
Perhaps you wonder why things like that don't happen to you, especially if you think you deserve the success more than the person who got it. We all know this feeling of envy and it isn't a pleasant experience. It takes us down a road of self-pity and depression. Other people—even friends—become the competition, and life becomes a zero-sum game.
So let's decide not to play that game.
Instead, what if we intentionally choose happiness when we see someone else happy? Not because we somehow benefit directly from their win, but because we choose to celebrate their win along with them?
Here's the kicker: If we responded to other people's happiness with our own happiness, we would exponentially increase our opportunities to feel joy.
The Apostle Paul literally instructs us to live like this in his letter to the church in Rome.
"Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people." Romans 12:15-16
In his Message paraphrase, Eugene Peterson puts it like this:
"Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody." Romans 12:15-16
We can spend our time trying to "be the great somebody" or decide to be a factor in multiplying happiness for ourselves and those around us. Remember this the next time you check social media and see someone celebrating. It's actually an invitation for you to celebrate too.
In the end, I suspect the "great somebody" isn't that happy anyways.
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