Lee's Lexicon May 6, 2022

Hello Broadway!


This time around I've made my way to Hebrew, but not the Biblical variety; modern Hebrew. The word firgun describes a concept that does not have a one-word translation in English; it's the pleasure/happiness/joy you feel at knowing that something good has happened or will happen to someone else.


It's when you see a friend get a job they were really hoping for and you're so happy and proud. 


When your sibling gets married or has a kid and you're just...bursting with joy at their happiness.


It's unselfish, and unqualified, pride and pleasure at someone else's good fortune.


And it's hard, sometimes. Oh, sometimes it's easy - but what if you were vying for the same job? What if you are looking for a relationship, want kids, but it's not happening? Then, maybe you just feel...disappointment. Sadness. Even anger. That these things are happening for someone else but not you, and you cannot see a reason why.


As to the 'why'...perhaps your opportunity is just not ready yet. But as for the feelings...that's ok. We're allowed to be sad, to look as others get what we want and realize how much we want it.


It only becomes a problem when those feelings lead us to feel negatively about the person who had the good thing happen. When the disappointment and sadness become bitterness and lead us to treat someone badly, when the anger is directed not at the general situation but at the other person.


We are called by God to be joyful for other people, even in the face of our own wants.


We are called to be able to examine our own feelings, and be able to separate them from what we feel about and for other people, rather than letting our feelings become toxic.



And we are called to firgun - to unqualified, unselfish joy at another's happiness.


Lee M. Rollins