Why is it that we sometimes take perverse pleasure

On hearing of the misfortunes of someone or other?

Our expressions of sympathy really quite fake

And relief it’s not us whose heart has to ache


We make all the right noises, express our concern

Upbraiding the cause in a voice oh so stern

The victim we comfort being most sympathetic

But somehow these pleadings seem rather pathetic


‘Cause inside our mind we’re so glad we’ve escaped

The events which our friends’ lives have now reshaped

The future for them will be never the same

And our crocodile tears say – oh what a shame!


Why can’t we be honest and admit our relief

And tell them what should be our honest belief

That life is unfair, they are not to be blamed

And for what has occurred let them be unashamed


Of course we are glad that our life is untouched

By whatever our friends’ peace will now disrupt

Then get alongside to help lift their dark cloud

A much kinder response than mere schadenfreude


Ken Fisher

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