Three mothers were sitting together at a school ball game. Two of them were gushing about their childrens' talents and latest achievements. One son had recently won an athletic scholarship. And anothers daughter had just been chosen as valedictorian. The third mother's son had no such accompishments but she seemed unruffled, even happy about the success of the other two. She almost sounded as proud of those other children as their own mothers were.
Later, when asked why she hadn't felt jealous she simply explained that it was much easier to celebrate than to compete. She certainly wanted success for her own child as well, but she knew that victories for others don't mean failures for us. She felt confident that her son would excel in his own way and in his own time.
The ability to forget oneself and praise another's achievement is a key to contented living. It's natural to feel pains of envy at another's success as if their success cancels out our own. But, in reality, life is a roller coaster and we each have our ups and downs. When we remember and cherish our own values and growth, we realize we wouldn't trade places with anyone else. When we are confident in the motives of our own hearts, we can then reach out to commend others for a job well done or, good fortune that comes their way.
This big-heartedness is also easier when we adopt the stance of the mother at the ball game. If we can look upon others with an almost parental sense of love then we can rejoice in their achievements the same way a gardener rejoices in stunning flowers that bloom in the garden. We discover that we have surrounded ourselves with winners. And they inspire us, rather than threaten us.
It has been said that one of the marks of true greatness, is the ability to develop greatness in others. If we make it our life's work to bring out the best in others how can we feel anything but personal success when they shine.
-Music and the Spoken Word
I would have to agree with Shannon, there IS enough jealousy & competition in the world, lets just be happy for one another.