You know, schandenfreude…?
When someone falls out of a chair and you laugh, or thows a ball and it bounches back and hits them. You know, the kind of stuff that makes the TV show “Americas Funniest Videos” so funny and Youtube videos so watched.
Defined, it means = finding joy in others troubles.
I’m not bagging on it today, but I’m not writing about it either. Nope, not schandenfreude.
I so enjoy my walks, and often observe interesting things while on them. Today was one of them and it is the capstone of a series of thoughts that have been brewing inside my crazy head. Today, I saw this –
I walked several steps by it but then turned around, returned and shot the photo, all the while amazed by the thoughtfulness of whoever lived there. And I thought, I don’t know these people, but I do know that they love dogs. On the same street are several signs posted in yards about cleaning up after your dog. But this home/yard/driveway was blessing the doggies. Doing something for them, just because. I was blown away. (And kinda sad I hadn’t brought Gunner, our dog.)
But that reminded me of other things I had observed on walks that were surprising. Things that were left on the trail/walk that someone had taken the time and thoughtfulness to purposely leave for someone else’s joy. Here are a few-
Each time I was totally amazed that someone would do that. Especially build that driftwood path covering. They specifically intended it to cover the path. I’ve seen other driftwood shelters on the beach, but this was strategically placed to cover the path. You HAD to walk under it. (Where shade was)
And the fairy homes???? More than 1 mile of trail (a very steep and mountainous trail too) was beautified with the meticulous and precisely designed homes and with much personal cost from the creative artisans.
All of these, I’m sure brought joy to the builder, but they were left to bring joy to others. The doggie treats too, were left to bring joy to others. All were intentional, sacrifical, and selfless. Each, not knowing who would pass but wanting to impact their day. Not schandenfreude!
Blown away. Amazed. Surprised. And blessed! Huge, goofy smile each and every time.
I want to do that. Unexpectedly surprise and bring joy to others. Be selfless. Do things for others without any need for repayment. Bless others on their daily walk. Not schandenfreude.
Cheers to you.