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09th Dec, 2021

You tell your friend how much he deserves the prize he just won – and you really mean it.

Or perhaps your colleague comes up with such a great idea that you can’t stop going on about how much you like it.

Or the pride you feel when your relative becomes the CEO and you throw a party to celebrate the occasion.

What you’re engaged in is ‘Firgun’ – a vicarious, ungrudging joy for someone else or pride in another person’s accomplishments.

The concept doesn’t have an exact one-word translation in English. The closest word I could think of was ‘Vicarious pleasure.’

It describes a generosity of spirit, an unselfish, empathetic joy that something good has happened, or might happen, to another person.

I recently came across this wonderful word, ‘Firgun’ (Hebrew: פירגון) and it just struck a chord. It is an informal modern Hebrew term and concept in Israeli culture, which compliments someone or describes genuine, unselfish delight or pride in the accomplishment of the other person.

We can’t experience all the joy,

we can’t have all the accomplishments,

we can’t achieve all the goals,

we can’t win all the races,  hence we need to find pleasure in the achievement of others and realise that the good that happens to others will also benefit the humanity at large and us in particular.

The world will definitely, even if slightly, be a better place because of someone else’s joy as one good thing definitely leads to another good thing resulting in a snowball effect of good things.

Spread good cheer, experience Firgun in the joy of others and stay blessed forever.