Laughing at myself

I remember coming home sad and distressed one afternoon when I was six-years-old. A peer from school had followed me half way home, teasing me about something that was important to me at the time but I can’t remember now.

After giving me milk and cookies to show that she sympathised, my mother lifted my chin, looked me square in the eyes and said, “You’ve got to learn to laugh at all aspects of life, son, even the ones that don’t seem the least funny at first. If you can do this, you’ll make it easier for others to do the same and the stresses of life will be easier to bear.”

I took these words to heart, as I did everything my parents told me, and they’ve served me well through the years, at least until recently.

Putting together a plan for a social media calendar, I came up with the idea of putting up a weekly joke. The results were not at all what I expected. In several instances the jokes were taken seriously rather than as tongue in cheek, despite that fact I put a smiling face and the laugh out loud (Lol) abbreviation at the end.

After several Fridays of this, I feel disheartened. It seems sad that, in my opinion, so many people take everything far too serious and my admittedly corny jokes only seem to rub them the wrong way.

Since my goal was to bring a little laughter to everyone’s long and often manic weeks and I’ve so obviously failed to do that, I will no longer be posting jokes. However, I’ll still share humourous experiences from my own life, where the joke is obviously on me. Perhaps in that way I can still bring an occasional smile to the face of others.

Finding a funny side to the most agonising and awkward moments of my life has often been my redemption, and I will always be thankful for my mother’s suggestion to do so.

I know there’s a level of seriousness that’s necessary to make it through. However, laughter can clear the mind so better choices can be made as well as promote happiness and longevity.

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Copyright Paul Thurman - The Urban Shaman

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