Among the distinctions I hold which mean absolutely nothing in the whole scheme of things is this one: I was the first Homecoming Queen in our high school. Our little school had never done homecoming before. And, evidently, we didn’t know it was supposed to be a popularity contest. So we held a competition where faculty and staff interviewed the candidates and then selected a winner. That is how a lowly freshman stole the crown from all the upperclassmen.
A lot of wonderful and way more important things have happened in my life since then, but I’d be a liar if I told you that moment doesn’t still hold a bit of a thrill in my heart. I mean, come on, I got to wear a princess gown. And they gave me flowers. And a crown.
The moment I remember most, though, was even better than those. It was the moment when my friend, Judy, told me how happy she was for me. I think it was the first time I ever understood what it meant to really celebrate someone else’s success. I saw it in her face. I heard it in her voice. I felt it in my heart. Pure joy with no competition, no comparison, no gosh-I-wish-it-were-me.
I’ve had the privilege of feeling that a lot lately.
For my friend Josh when he started having publishing success and then went to his first writers conference.
For my favorite daddy-blogger when he sent me sneak-peeks of some upcoming projects.
And, for my friend, Judy, when she took brave, new steps into the writing world that we have both loved since we walked into Mrs. Epperson’s first-grade classroom together several decades ago.
It turns out the principle is true. Celebrating the success of someone you love really is better than getting your own crown. Let’s have a party here on the blog this week. Who do you want to celebrate today?