I learned the above German word only a few years ago and its English equivalent is a new one for me. I can't recall even using the German Schadenfreude in a sentence,ever! Just for fun, I looked both words on Wikipedia:
These are fancy words to be sure, but the concepts are ordinary. Ever watch a Three stooges cartoon or any slapstick feature-- Schadenfreude, there you are!!! There is just something funny about someone taking a fall or doing something stupid. Remember all the Jerry Lewis movies?!!! In thinking about this, I remembered this little passage from the book of Luke (and there is of course, a little twist to it)...
Luke, Chapter 13
1 Now there were some present at the same time who told him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way. 4 Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them; do you think that they were worse offenders than all the men who dwell in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no, but, unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way.”
The Galileans had a nasty reputation!!! And they probably did something that truly deserved punishment, but Pilate made their punishment notable, by mixing their dying blood with the sacrifice they were making at the temple in Jerusalem. This would send a message to Pilate's arch enemy Herod and to everyone that Rome could be utterly ruthless. So, they received what they deserved and then some!!! But, in reality, those men were really no worse than all the other Galilean's and those who died under the Siloam tower. The problem in this passage was not just about punishment for deserved sin, it was about attitude. The judgemental attitude of those who told Jesus about this episode and their efforts to pit Jesus against the Roman government. Sin is sin, no matter who does it and therefore we all need to be careful about our thoughts, attitudes and actions. Schadenfreude (epicaricacy) may seem appropriate for viewing TV, but in real life, we all need to be understanding of others because everyone is prone to error (sin). Remember: attitude, attitude, attitude!!!
PS. Please don't ask me to use epicaricacy in a sentence; it just sounds funny!!!!