Schadenfreude – A Poem

Original Photography By Jack Lecerf
I read about Lucy in the morning paper,
As I watched the bustling city go by,
In my world, I am the epicentre,
And I love it when their pitiful world goes awry.
 
She had lost it all in a gamble with a man,
Her house, her dreams, her self-esteem,
Bundled away in the back of a matte black van,
Her privacy violated, her personhood steamed.
 
It started with a giggle, a little laugh,
And soon the passerby’s began to stare,
I sipped my espresso, and tipped the staff,
For their humble compassion I simply couldn’t care. 

I brushed a solitary crumb off my jacket,
And set off through the winding street,
I mused at the homeless, plagued by debts,
And grinned as litter tangled a pigeon's feet.
 
In the park I crossed an old friend,
And onto me they poured their miseries,
He told me that he was nearing the end,
That cancer would suffocate him in a graveyard's history.
 
To him I smiled, and mustered; 'all will be fine',
But my twisted mask was a mere deception,
Inside I wasn't sympathetic, rather sublime!
And I tried to hide it in my voice's inflection.
 
Though; this man was shrewd; he always had been,
And he saw through my mouth's crude disguise,
Frightened and confused, he turned and ran,
Far away, far beyond my mocking eyes.
 
Beating hearts are privy to the machinations of natural law,
And such, the weak will die, and so will the strong,
Sadness is meaningless, and pity is a flaw,
Existence will terminate, like even the sweetest song. 

Life's too long to be dragged down by compassion,
Far better to give yourself over to a lifelong Euphoria,
Be like me; immerse yourself in sensations of elation:
I think we all need lessons in Schadenfreude.
 

For an informative article on Schadenfreude, click here!

The Feeling of Schadenfreude, an experience with the dark side of joy

To better understand this topic, I’m gonna need you to drop the myth that any one emotion is remotely ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Drop it. In the end of the day, all you are left to do is to simply feel them.

However, it all goes without saying that our emotions are indeed complexed. Feeling emotions to later identify what they (really) are and how they came about is the best way to working through it. You must allow your emotions to flow.

Life doesn’t exist in shades of black and white, and this same principle applies to our emotions, too. There are times we may feel sad, which may come off as a generally negative feeling, albeit a normal emotional response to pain, there also exists its darker counterpart, despair.

The same goes for the feelings of anger and hatred.

Love and lust.

Faith and greed.

But what about our happiness? Could a word that sounds as purely innocent as to what it means really have such a negative, extreme aspect? Is our happiness capable of bringing harm to oneself and to others?

Allow me to introduce to you a really cool-sounding German term Schadenfreude, which means “defective joy“. This oxymoron is used when a person’s sense of pleasure is derived from the pain and calamities that befall on others.

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