Have you ever noticed how seriously Americans take themselves lately? I tend to be a pretty sarcastic lady, always finding humor wherever I can. I would rather laugh than to be so serious about myself every second of the day, but I find that others living in this country with me don’t share in the same type of humor.
They can’t take a joke.
And they definitely can’t laugh at themselves. God forbid you make them look stupid in front of someone else. Have we become so overly sensitive that every single thought must be carefully constructed as not to hurt others’ feelings?
Since our culture seems to rely heavily on what others feel and think, instead of choosing to listen to our intuition for suggestions we look to those that we feel are successful, or the “Ideal American”.
This ideal American has no time for fun. No laughs to be given. Instead they wake up at 4:30 AM every morning, because they are the living embodiment of what it is to be a “productive person”. They wake up only to meditate, practice yoga, exercise, play tennis (Anna Wintour does, so apparently it’s key to being a successful editor-in-chief at Vogue magazine), oh and they may not eat if they’re in the middle of a go at Intermittent Fasting.
All this happens before 8 AM.
No wonder we can’t take a joke. We’re too tired to even try. Everything in our culture tells us that failure is for the weak, and if we are failures, we are most certainly are being laughed at. I find the entire “how to wake up at the crack-of-dawn” tip giving a complete joke. How many of us parents wake up extremely early as it is? How many of us work overnight shifts or hell just have a job that requires us to wake up early anyway? Why lose extra sleep so you can do five more things before 8 am, even though you barely were able to accomplish getting up the first time the alarm sounded?
I read a blog post on how to have a miracle morning. I feel the miracle we all need is to be to wake up feeling rested, be able to look at ourselves in the mirror, and just laugh. Laugh at the silliness of all the extra you’ve got to do to prove you’re successful. Laugh at the fact that we’re all just copying each other trying to find a way to be the best person we can. Laugh at the fact that we’re willing to try anything on the planet to be happy, but we choose to not do the one thing that’s free, that’s an instant mood lifter, and that could possibly unify us all.
It’s laughter. That’s it.
Laugh at yourself for all the times you fell over trying to hold some random pose after you told all your friends you’re practicing yoga for real now. Laugh at all the times you attempted to make a healthy smoothie and after one sip poured it down the sink. Laugh at all the times you were worried you were going to look like an idiot because of something you wore, or said, and you found out that your worst case scenario simply wasn’t true.
I find that the more I’m able to laugh at myself and joke with others makes me feel closer and not so distant. I’m not saying joke in a way with the intention of being malicious. I know that when someone laughs at me, in a harmless way, it shows me that my need to always be right is simply not worth the fight. It reminds me that my ego needs to find its place in some dark corner and the light, joyous person that is myself can come out to play.
It’s not about being the funniest, loudest person in the room. It’s not about being obnoxious, believing that you’re the next cousin Vinnie and even though all we are all laughing at you, you’ll end up being the hero not to be joked on in the end.
You don’t have to take yourself so seriously. Laughter can be the one thing to brighten someone else’s day. It can turn a bad situation to good and give you hope that humanity will one day lighten up.
So, all my fellow Americans, let’s not let laughter be lost. It’s really the only thing we have left so put on a brave face and start another day. Laughing.
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