Being able to be happy for someone else’s success and pleasures in life illuminates our own feelings about success and happiness and also the possibilities of our own success and happiness. We don’t have to always agree with everybody’s choices in life, but if we cannot be happy for somebody else, we are living in the world of negativity and lack. We constantly are comparing our lives to someone else’s and punishing them through our behaviour, because we are insecure about our own level of success and happiness. Perhaps we don’t believe in ourselves, don’t believe that we can get to a similar level of success and happiness, so we try to brush it off. If we cannot be happy for someone else, then we will never be satisfied or happy with our own achievements. We need to understand that success and happiness is different for everyone. Although we might be jealous of someone’s accomplishments, we may have a different yet very equal set of achievements. Similarly, we might find happiness and success in different roads that can never be compared, but are still equally as important. We can be jealous of somebody’s life and admire them at the same time. We can be happy for them without compromising our own happiness. We can still reach higher and higher whilst helping others achieve their dreams too.
If we were to write the acknowledgements of our life so far, we would all most likely have someone to thank: someone who was there for us when nobody else was, someone who believed in us, someone who pushed us, someone who set us free, someone who influenced us. They are the people who we are indebted to. They are the people who directly and indirectly make us who we are. They are the people who helped us reach the place we are today.
I don’t think we should ever dwell on the past, but we should never forget these people. It can be easy to get caught up in our own lives when it is going well that we might not see the trials of those other people. It can be easy to take their support for granted. It can also be easy to focus the rockier moments of relationships, especially if those moments are more frequent now than they were before.
But don’t turn your back on the people who have supported and cherished you, even if your paths diverge. Don’t abandon those people in their most vulnerable states. We need to respect them, appreciate them, and thank them. Sometimes being indebted to someone doesn’t mean we can ever fully repay them, we just have to show how much they mean to us. It can be with words, but even more significantly with actions. It can simply be returning a favour or returning a phone call. Heck, we can initiate not just return, because that is what they did for you.
Support isn’t an action only reserved for times of trouble. Support isn’t an action only reserved for the people we know. Support isn’t a one-way system reserved for ourselves. I find it sad to see a world where people take pleasure in tearing other people down, whether it be tearing down the people we don’t know, such as through celebrity gossip, or tearing down the people we do know, such as bitching about people behind their backs. Does tearing down someone actually change anything significantly in our life? Does it make us prettier or stronger or wealthier?
I think support should be an action that melts into all our daily practices. Support should be giving encouragement, offering help and advice, wishing many congratulations, standing up for others against an adversary. Support is about letting people in who may feel left out or alone, about lifting someone up in good times and bad, and about sticking by them even if you don’t agree with them. Supporting one another is planting love rather than hate. Just one small action of support can begin the chain of another person lending support to someone else, instead of breeding a culture where people feel the need to knock others down. By lifting others up, we lift ourselves up out of those destructive emotions of jealousy, fear and hate. We open up ourselves and the world to love.