It’s Okay to Laugh…

Posted: February 17, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Laughing is not hard to do; unless you are of the variety of individuals that likes to look at the world, grimace with disdain and bitch about everything that you see.  Let’s be honest, there is no shortage of things to detest, loathe, and scorn.  Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, the entire cast of Jersey Shore, Rick Santoroum, Newt Gingrich, George Bush, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, ignorant pet owners that let their dogs dump in your yard, the youth, the elderly, racists, bigots, the Kardashians, whiny wide receivers, people that refuse to use turn signals, little people that get bent over the use of the term “midget,” homophobes that cite “moral corruption” as their hate, Occupy protestors that somehow equate bathing to a capitalist agenda, anyone suffering from “Linsanity,” politically correct ne’er-do-wells, trust fund babies, feminists that scoff at someone holding the door for them, Hollywood for thei trite, recycled garbage, swimsuit models that have impeccable bodies and “don’t work so good” brains, and the human race as a whole.

There, I got a short list off of my chest but the reality is we all need to slow down long enough to laugh at the world around us.  If we become consumed by always espousing hate and discontent, then we miss the opportunities to laugh.  Did you know that every time you laugh, a baby in Africa is fed?  Wait, that’s not right.  Every time you laugh, a landmine is cleared from war torn cities in Eastern Europe.  Damn it, that’s not right either!  Laughing is good for the soul….yeah, that sounds right!

However, before we go and get ourselves drunk on laughter, let’s really think about the last time we laughed hard and NOT at the expense of another.  It is difficult to do when there is a classic climbing the stairs and missed the last step moment that occurs every thirteen seconds (not a number I researched but I figure if men think about sex every six seconds, then we are not thinking about that last step.)

Oh, but Chris, we can’t laugh at the misfortune of others, can we?  Yes, because I would rather laugh at unfortunate moments than be the person that remains silently grateful that I do not live an existence like so many in this world.

A few weeks ago, while sitting in a pizza joint in North Philly, a homeless man approached the window adjacent to the table where I enjoyed a great lunch and great company.  My coworker and I were having a great conversation when a man approached the window and began to yell at the top of his lungs.  I do not speak crazy-homeless-ese, but I knew eye contact was the last thing I needed to do.  My coworker did not feel the same and set up one of the most epic unintelligible conversations ever shared between three people.  After a solid two minutes of rumblings and mumblings, the homeless man bellowed out, “I’m F&*$in hungry!”  As a fat man, I dug what the man put out there.  Sadly, I scarfed my food down in record time.  My coworker had a half eaten cheesesteak and the man pointed at the food while repeating his proclamation from earlier.  I delivered the cheesesteak and without missing a beat, asked about my soda.  There, in that moment, I had to laugh.  While providing a meal to the man, he proved he had no shame in his game.  I swapped out straws as if sanitary practices was this man’s first concern.  I laughed.  I am still laughing.  Call me what you will, but I had to laugh because it was in that man’s misfortune that something laughable occurred.

While driving to work last week, I found myself behind one of those individuals that littered their bumper with stickers that claimed tolerance, love, and coexistence.  Clearly not in a hurry to get to where she was headed, acceleration did not exist in her vocabulary.  A few miles down the road, after a litany of cars merged between myself and this person, a little bumper nudging occurred and off to the side of the road she and the person that hit her car were engaged in a truly comical tirade.  Not once did I see her exhibit tolerance, love, or coexistence.  I chuckled and drove on.

In New York, an ad for Jeremy Lin, the Taiwanese-American future superstar (I say this tongue-in-cheek) has his face sprouting from a fortune cookie with the slogan, “The Knicks Good Fortune.”  Again, I’m not for political correctness.  I am, however, in favor of good taste and definitely a believer that what is good for the goose is definitely good for the gander.  Would America scoff if an Irish-American superstar sprung into the spotlight and had an ad with him wading in a pint of Guiness with the tagline, “Mics love the Knicks” would go over as well?  We cannot get upset at one thing and then be okay with another.  Racial and ethnic intolerance is partly to blame for our country’s inability to experience cultural, economic, and dare I say it, spiritual growth.

When we stop long enough to laugh for the sake of laughing, we do so in an unadulterated kind of way.  We laugh heartily and mightily; the thought of assessing what makes us laugh is not something we do right before we laugh.  If it is funny to you, then laugh.  Oh, and do yourself a favor, please?  The next time someone says something to offend you, laugh at the person.  Do not laugh at WHAT they say, laugh at their existence because it is okay to laugh at another persons misfortune.  What is their misfortune?  They are stuck with themselves for the rest of their lives:  Just be happy you’re not them!

 

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