You are watching: What is the opposite of schadenfreude

It is December 3rd, 2015. I am was standing in give Hall in ~ Queen’s University, surrounding by students, faculty and also reporters. Faces are illuminated through smiles. Over there is palpable feeling of happiness and contentment in the room. A colleague takes the stage. Civilization are on your feet. The situation of this happy gathering to be a send off for one of our own, Dr. Arts McDonald, who departed days later for Stockholm come be recognized on the human being stage as co-recipient the the 2015 Nobel prize in Physics.

Having successfully perfect Physics 101 in ~ Queen’s (the professor allow me with on the condition that ns take no more physics courses), ns am the course fine qualified to explain Dr. McDonald’s landmark achievement. His discovery has miscellaneous to do with the transforming flavors the neutrinos, a repurposed mine in Sudbury dubbed Snolab, dark matter physics, the sun and …. Maybe, ns will have actually Dr. McDonald define his work-related at a future clinical Grand ring (but ns digress). Together we awaited Dr. McDonald acquisition the phase I to be surprised to watch so many faculty, themselves achieved individuals, engaged in a public screen of joy inspired by your colleague’s success. All also often achievement in academia deserve to foster resentment or it is in met with indifference. Once you placed a bunch that talented, driven people in a room there is competition because that altitude and oxygen. Henry Kissinger famously observed, “The reason that university national politics is for this reason vicious is due to the fact that stakes are so small”. However, on this particular day in give hall there was nothing small in play. Together I stood and also listened to art I found myself struggling to come up with a concise native to summarize the positive power that emanated from those assembled. Oddly, the an initial word that involved mind to be the the opposite of what ns was spring for, Schadenfreude. Schadenfreude is a German indigenous meaning, taking satisfied in the misfortune the others. Schadenfreude is a guilty pleasure in which few of us regular indulge. I was trying to think of an English antonym the Schadenfreude, possibly joy, pride, or pleasure? no one of these words seemed to concisely and accurately capture the non-self serving happiness we were experience since of the success the Dr. McDonald. As I played amateur etymologist, this positive yet unnamed emotion overflowed, spreading to incorporate his collaborators, without who he might not have actually succeeded, and also to the entire Physics Department, who sustained him in this multi-decade fragment pursuit. What IS the appropriate word!? having cleverly coined the hatchet Schadenfreude, surely the Germans must have actually minted an anti- Schadenfreude. Having no German language an abilities I consulted a friend and also scientific collaborator through whom I worked at the university of Chicago, Dr. Jalees Rehman. Dr. Rehman is a stem cabinet biologist, cardiologist, blogger and Bavarian! many importantly Dr. Rehman is a kind philosopher. When I posed the question, “What is the antonym that schadenfreude” the replied, “Perhaps it is telling around German character that we have a word for Schadenfreude yet not the opposite. However, i did come throughout such a indigenous in one of my various other heritages – India.

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The Sanskrit native “Mudita” refers to vicarious happiness or sorry joy and also is offered in Buddhism to highlight the prominence of feeling happiness for others great fortune also (or especially) as soon as we execute not directly advantage from their an excellent fortune. “