Today was a funny day. It’s almost Christmas, a time for this, a time for that. In fact, almost everyone seems to have something to say about what Christmas should be a time for. A time for reflection, a time for religion, a time for many serious things.
Well for some strange reason, today I just didn’t feel serious. I found myself laughing at many silly little things, seeing the humour in things that weren’t even really funny, everything seemed to amuse me.
I sat down to write a very serious post on how we are all just guests in this world, but no matter how hard I tried, today I just didn’t have space for seriousness. Maybe that post will appear sometime later.
I think much of the time we are way too serious and often it doesn't help matters. We’re in a unique position as humans, we all know our fate, there’s no big surprise. So really there’s no need to be so serious as if everything really mattered so much.
We brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out of it, but it would be good to leave behind the echoes of our laughter. Many of the ‘serious’ problems we have in the world are just that, problems from being too serious.
Remember that famous tennis incident when John McEnroe shouted at the umpire, ‘you cannot be serious’ beacuse he called a ball ‘out’ that McEnroe thought had hit the line. A point in a tennis match is a very serious thing!
Well it’s easy to see the humour in that but humour doesn’t always come so easily when something affects us personally. When someone steals our parking space, when we don’t get results after a lot of hard work or when someone is rude to us.
Really though, it’s not so serious and even if it is, well then it’s even more important to have a sense of humour about it. So let’s just have a sense of humour. In the end it makes life much more enjoyable for everyone.
Here are some serious tips for lightening up when we’ve lost our sense of humour:
Take a step back
Getting a bigger perspective can transform what seems like a big problem into something that is almost humorous. Imagine if you were looking down on our solar system from above and you zoomed in on the Earth and you saw these strange creatures called humans, running about, fretting and grasping, generation after generation. You might think us all a bit strange. What seems so serious right now, in an hour, a day, a month or a year probably won’t really be so important.
See the real motive
As humans we can be very deluded a lot of the time – well at least I can be! We want to feel powerful so we buy the latest car. We want to be thought of as intelligent and sophisticated so we buy that perfume we saw on the TV. We want to be liked to we pretend we’re better than other people. Can you see the irony? People do strange counter-intuitive things all the time. In the end we’re just trying to be happy and avoid suffering. If we try and see what other people's motives are we can start to notice the humour in the ways people behave.
Laugh at our own mistakes
We hear a lot that we should learn from our mistakes, well I’d like to add, let’s learn to laugh from our mistakes. A mistake is bad enough already without being miserable about it. We may make one or two mistakes in our lives which are not appropriate to laugh at, but that’s just one or two, for the hundreds of others we make every day, let’s just have a good laugh and move on.
So if you don’t feel serious, why not make the most of it, smile, laugh and enjoy life. If you do feel serious, my advice would be to stop as soon as practically possible. Oh and by the way – don’t take anything you read in this post seriously.
Image courtesy of Don LaVange