Have you ever been jostled by a vindictive lout who obviously doesn’t want to see you succeed?

     I have.

     There’s no English word to describe those kind of rancorous individuals. But the German language nails it with a noun: Schadenfreude (shahd-n-froi-duh). Translated: “Satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.”

     Have you ever: Dropped a game winning touchdown pass? Failed to sell a work-in-progress play you’re still laboring on? Suffered a broken heart? Experienced humiliation? Lacked a formal education? Owned an ancient jalopy rather than a new Mercedes? Married a poor girl rather than one from a filthy rich family? Been a person with a blue-collar attitude?

     Proudly, my answer is “yes” to all of the above.

     And during the process, I’ve locked horns with more than my share of men and women suffering from the Schadenfreude syndrome.

     There are an abundance of them scurrying around in the workplace, politics, showbiz, sports — even in the world of blue-collar workers.

     Take a good look at them. They are jealous, greedy, insensitive, vengeful, smug in their pretentiousness, mocking and fearful of their own faltering self-esteem.

     Give them a compassionate hug. For they are the pathetic ones.

                        — Boots LeBaron

(Read Boots’ current book, THE HUMAN RACE. Buy it

on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon. The human

interest stories, essays and light poetry cover

     all aspects of life. Read all about it!)

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