Lately in Atlanta, the humidity has been low and it's been almost fally. Every night the sidewalks are bustling - people out and about, soaking up the oddly cool late July. Last night, my very oldest Atlanta friend, Katie, and I went for a walk - joining in on the street parade and catching up on life.
While we were walking, she was sharing some exciting news in her life and told me that sometimes she thinks people view happiness as a Zero-Sum Game and that she doesn't think it has to be that way. Not an economist, I had to ask her to explain more. In econ, there is a theory that in order for one thing to gain, another must be lost, so the sum is always zero.
She said that when it comes to happiness, just because one person gains happiness, doesn't mean another person has to lose it.
She said she believes, honestly, there is enough space in the world for all of us to be happy.
It can be easy in your 20s - in this season of uneven - to feel frustrated when someone else gets what you want. But, to Katie's point, just because you bought a house, got a boyfriend, got a promotion and got engaged, doesn't mean I can't have those things. Your gain doesn't mean my loss. It simply means your gain.
I think it's important to remember. Because the best thing we can do is root for one another.
And if we get into the habit of believing that another person's happiness equals our unhappiness, it takes up space in our minds - and in our hearts. It makes it so we're unable to just be glad for our friends - it forces us to look at everything through our own selfish lens, instead of looking at it through someone else's.
So that's what I'm remembering today. To root for the happiness, the success and the joy of those around me. To remember that there is enough space in this world for your gain and my gain and for each and every one of us to create the life we want. And to remember every day that happiness isn't a zero sum game. It's just a sum game. It all just continues to add up. And that's pretty great.