Recently a friend got some really good news. Like alter the course of his life news. Fulfill a dream type news. And while my initial reaction was joy for what he now gets to do (and I don't want to go into too many details because I don't know how public the knowledge is yet), I was left with a residual feeling that I didn't like. Jealousy.
Here's the thing about moments like these. When they're happening, you know they're not the best response. You know there are better things to do with your time or better reasons to spiral down the drain or other feelings you should be feeling. But that doesn't stop any of it because the question is one of the most fundamental we run into as humans.
We see this question work both ways. "Why was it me that got that speeding ticket on the way to work today? That one car was going even faster than I was!" Or "Why didn't I get the promotion? I've been working hard too." It always comes down to "Why is this happening to me?"
Which, yes, I realize is an awful thing to be thinking. But when you realize that what you're feeling makes you a jerk, it doesn't really make you feel like less of a jerk, you know? Then you're just a jerk aware of his jerkiness.
These moments are going to crop up all of the time in our lives. They're everywhere if you're outside, moving around, bumping into people. What we need is a way to talk ourselves down from the selfish ledge. For this particular instance, I came up with one and we'll end with it today. It's simple, but it gets the idea we need to remember across. The idea that I'm not the only one outside, moving around, bumping into people. There are others, experiencing the world in probably similar ways. And sometimes they, like I had to, will need to tell themselves this.
Something good happening to someone else is not something bad happening to me.