One of the most difficult vices to squelch is jealousy. We live and born and are bred in the usa-- in capitalism. We breathe in this society that encourages us to be different, to pride ourselves on our originality, our ideas which we created, turned into businesses and gained recognition. So from our first science fair project, we perhaps walked around to the other kids’ cardboard extravagance and a little seed called jealousy was planted in our hearts. “Why couldn’t my project have turned out like THAT?”
grew older, not much changed. We still wished we had that car, that
house, that award (we after all deserved it, right?!).
“Why? Why not
me?” we ask. We wish. We beg. Wishing in and of itself isn’t bad. Wishing, wanting
creates a drive that spurs us to better our ideas, so we can indeed
reach our goals, and hopefully one day buy that car, get that dream job.
It drives capitalism. But somewhere along the journey from adolescent
to adulthood we begin to see our lifelong friend’s journey and the
jealousy that perhaps we once felt out of immaturity should fade into an
understanding-- that that award, that car, that journey of life is
their journey. It is their happiness.
To be an open well of encouragement, to walk along beside them and
encourage and support them. Why? Why do this? Why go against the very grain of our society? We, after all, have to get to the TOP!
Simply put, have you ever heard “to get friends,
you have to be one?” When all of your world is crumbling down, do you
know who will be there to sit in the rubble with you, dust you off and
set you back on your feet? Rest assured, my friend, this will be all of us someday. The ones that will be there are the ones you have supported along your way. This could be 15 people, or it could be no one.
To be genuinely happy for yourself and where you are and confident
in what you are doing is to be genuinely happy for them. To say to them
“I will support you no matter what...” is the making of the most real
friendships you’ve ever experienced. You’ve heard “fake it till you make
it” and this, my friend, is no different.
It didn’t come as a shock that the first words I’d want to hear from
a friend when I had told them I had accomplished something was
supportive words of encouragement. But of course! I was the one that was
the recipient. Why was it so difficult then for me to offer such
affirmative words of praise to my friends when the God of good grace
granted them with favor and not me?!
Ask yourself, have you ever felt empty after giving? Give them this
gift that you can give, of your encouragement, your support.
It is not until we find happiness in our own journey that we can realize and act on it.
May we find contentment in where we are, that we might not look down on those around us, but lift them up to where we might be . . .
(Photo credit: Photos take by me on the iphone. Edit by Ryan Olde)