Yesterday, I read an article about a certain celebrity and his impending divorce. Most of the article was discussing how he and his wife had been married for five years and had two children. While there were many women trying to polish themselves up to get in line for the possibility of making themselves wife number two, I sat back and wondered why they were delighting in his demise. I wondered how does it profit them to be so happy at a time that can be sad and stressful to the one going through it.
I also thought about myself. How often have I delighted in the demise of another for a selfish reason? I’m pretty sure I’ve done it countless times, however, there are some I remember more vividly. I remember back in school when I cheered with my friends after learning that the obnoxiously smart kid in class got a lower grade than me (which was a low A if I recall correctly). I remembering cheering for an opposing country’s gymnastics team who’s player was injured when they went against the 1996 Team USA gymnastics team. I remember cheering on the break up of those in relationships as well. Not because I knew them but because I thought they were wrong from the start.
I recall one of the first celebrity divorces I heard about was the divorce of Halle Berry and David Justice. The only reason I knew about it was because I’m an Atlanta Braves fan and David Justice was my favorite player at the time. For some reason, I couldn’t understand their union. For me, I often wondered when they would see each other. Halle Berry was a very sought after actress at the time and with the Braves baseball team traveling all the time, I questioned when did they see each other. When did they get the opportunity to be married and to live that married life like I saw my parents doing?
However, the question still remains, how did it profit me to cheer in their turmoil? It profited me nothing. I gained nothing. I didn’t become class valedictorian (wasn’t even close) but my classmate was salutatorian of our high school class. So what did cheering with my friends after class get me? Nothing. I wasn’t on any gymnastics team (wouldn’t have been even if I tried) so what did me cheering for that country’s injured team member do for me? Nothing. It didn’t lower my BMI or reduce my weight. So there was no benefit for me to do it at all. Delighting in the break up of a celebrity marriage of a couple that I never knew (still don’t know either one) did nothing for me except but to make me wonder who would delight if we ever (Heaven, God, Jesus, and Earth forbid) met with the same circumstance.
When did we become people who will cheer, get themselves ready and put themselves in a position to be the next in line after it’s revealed that a person is no longer involved in a situation that previously kept those same now interested people at bay? When did we become a people who’s self-gratification is put above another person’s healing? Like, who started this behavior or is it already ingrained in us? Regardless of the answers to these questions, we really have to question if it is delight that is our true emotion or is it relief.
As I look back on those three scenarios I’ve shared above, two of them were relief. I was relieved that my grade wasn’t based on a curve that my classmate helped to set up with his fantastic score. I actually achieved it on my own. I was relieved that David Justice was doing better on the field after his break up with Halle Berry. No offense to Halle but I’m sure it was a load off of his mind which meant he could turn his attention to baseball. I was just young and petty with the gymnastics team so yes, that was delight.
In the end, we must remember that each of us can be in the same situation at any given moment. Sometimes, it’s not what we choose to do in the moment when it happens to us. Sometimes, it’s how we choose to act when the moment happens to someone else that turns around and bites us. We can still receive negative karma because we put out petty, silly or even mean actions out to the universe.
So until next time, let’s consider how we act when others are going through their demise. It can turn around to negatively bite us in the end.