New Word Wednesday


Throughout June, I’ll be featuring Music Monday (see this past Monday’s post here), New Word Wednesday, and Photo Friday. The new word is new to me; I’m sure many of my intelligent readers will find the word part of their regular vocabulary. Right….

Today’s new word is macarism. Macarism comes from the Greek word makarismos, μακαρισμός, and means taking pleasure in another’s joy, also the practice of making others happy through praise. It makes me think of my dog.

photo by M. Reynolds
photo by M. Reynolds

I praise her and she experiences joy. Maybe she’s more joyous running through the park, unleashed, but you get the idea. Good girl, Bonnie! Result: big-time tail wag.

Parents may most often experience macarism: the happiness at a child’s accomplishments. Taking pleasure in another’s joy also relates to my fellow authors. When I see that one of my writer pals has snagged a publishing deal, or sold another five thousand books, or won an award for their writing, do I take pleasure in their joy? Um, not always. I should, yes, I know. I should. Ah, perhaps that’s why the word “macarism” is not so well known. Is it difficult for you to find joy in another’s happiness, or do you compare yourself with others and think more about what happiness has eluded you?