A Question 1923 Happiness In The Happiness Of Others

While going through my stack of vintage Needlecraft magazines from 1923, I came across this interesting thought piece about finding happiness in the happiness of others on the first page of the June issue and thought it would be a good one to share today.

The piece touches on a lot of great points that serve as great reminders of how we can be happier in our lives. Some key takeaways:

  • We are often too quick to be skeptical of good things happening.
  • One does not need to have less for another to have more.
  • What goes around comes around – celebrating another’s joy often brings us joy

Without further ado, I’ll let you read the original text 🙂

A Question

How many of us are truly happy in the happiness of others? To how many of us does the knowledge that some great gladness or success has come to another mean honest rejoicing, untouched by envy, on our part?

I have pondered that question seriously more than once – and wondered. Do we not like to believe that the good fortune, whatever it may be, isn’t really so wonderful after all, and put on our magnifying-glasses to discover, if possible, a fly in the ointment?

Not always or often do we admit this to ourselves, but – well, it is a question, isn’t it?

It shouldn’t be; and it wouldn’t be if we could bring ourselves to understand that to be as sincerely glad of the good things that fall to the lot of neighbor or friend, or even the stranger within or without our gates, as we would be if they came to us, is a sort of “open sesame” to the best of good fortune for ourselves. This from the stand- point of personal interest. It substantiates a worthy paraphrase of a certain old saying, “Blessings come home to roost.”

Leaving this side entirely out of the question, however, we shall never realize how much real happiness there is in rejoicing with and for another until we try it. We may have to make believe just a bit at first, but that is a start in the right direction. After a little we shall forget how to pick flaws; and envy-which is like a cankering sore will no longer claim any place in our hearts. Isn’t it greatly worthwhile to make the effort?

Perhaps we feel that some stroke of good-for- tune has fallen where it was not deserved –– that plums have tumbled into the lap of somebody who had already gotten a big share without even shaking the plum-tree. Never mind; that isn’t for us to worry about. We may be very sure that an abundance of things doesn’t make for happiness and it is that which we are talking about. No one can be happy in possessions they cannot use, and which mean nothing beyond mere ownership; this fact has been made plain to us more than once.

And let us never run away with the idea that one must need to have less because another has more. Perhaps the root of envy and ill-will is right here in this erroneous belief. Abundance is the law of life God’s own law. “He openeth His hand and satisfieth the needs of every living creature.”

If this is true, as it surely is, how can there be reason for jealousy, for any sense of lack? We have but to learn how to claim the good that is our own. And, to hark back to the beginning, in no surer way can we do this than by honestly rejoicing in another’s good.

–– Editorial Published in the June 1923 Needlecraft Magazine

I hope you enjoy this story and of course I’d love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments below!

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