SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Thursday, September 27, 2018

"The Most Incredible thing of All" - Hans Christian Anderson

                                                                                                     (image courtesy You Tube)

While searching for an appropriate story to tell at a corporate event, I came across this story;
"The Most Incredible Thing of all" by Hans Christian Anderson.
Read it here:
http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheMostIncredibleThing_e.html

and watch it here by Diane Wolkstein:
https://vimeo.com/18037595

The story talks about the most incredible thing that a man (woman) can do and that is:
to find joy in another's achievement without envy or jealousy!

Simple, yet such a powerful tale that made me sit up and observe myself.
Can this be a healing story -  it is.
Every time I am faced with jealousy and envy; I tell myself the most incredible thing of all is to practice true joy at another's success.
I enjoyed telling this story and it is still growing on me!

Can humans live without jealousy and envy of the other? A very difficult task, in fact one of the most difficult achievements if I may say so.
Should one not have any envy or jealousy? Any emotion is not wrong , but if it makes us act in a manner as that Thug did, by breaking down and destroying what was created by another, then that calls for serious thought.
Envy and jealousy that one feels can be sublimated or channeled. We can add to our skills, or practice more. Even work upon our own self esteem and not spend that negative energy to pull down another.
Human beings are wired to be competitive for that is a natural survival mechanism, but evolution has also shown us that cooperation can take us furthur and faster than we can imagine.
Not an easy task as the western world is a highly individualistic culture, while our eastern society has always emphasized collectivism and group benefit.
People in the modern society struggle to find a place for themselves in the world, they are constantly striving to stand out as individuals and speak of individual achievements, but in the long run those who are remembered and find true happiness are the ones who work to improve other's life and not just their own.