Choose To See the Humor In All Situations
Good humor is an admirable quality.
It makes people laugh.
It lightens emotionally heavy situations.
It takes everyday circumstances and puts a funny or unusual perspective on them.
People want to be around you when you make them laugh!
I am in a musical at my local theatre. We open this week, so we’re putting in more hours than usual, trying to bring our show to the next level.
We want to give our audience the best experience possible, and in order to do that, we are pushing ourselves. Spending extra time, perfecting costumes & costume changes, working on scene transitions, adding the choir and orchestra and sound and lighting people.
Each night our directors, choreographer and stage managers give us “notes” at the end of the evening. They go over what went wrong, what needs to improve and what is going right with the production.
Our director is so amusing, he makes constructive criticism fun. He imitates us, jokes about our mistakes, models the correct actions, and uses silly voices and body language to exaggerate his meanings.
He quotes the acting masters to bring his points home. He finds ways to give feedback that makes us all relaxed about receiving it and leaves us wanting to do better.
This is a true talent on his part!
He needs people to buy into the show 110%, and he knows the way to do that is not to leave us feeling discouraged or unappreciated. Rather, he amuses us, improves our acting and builds us up simultaneously, just by being his jovial self.
I find myself looking forward to notes each night, just to see what he’ll do next.
All of us can learn a lesson from this thespian/director. He lets us know our jobs are important, but to not take ourselves too seriously. There is humor in the work.
Comedians do similar things for their audience members. They utilize everyday situations as the basis of examination in a light-hearted way. Things we do regularly are often so much a part of our routine that we fail to be conscious of the humor embedded in them.
Comedians use a different lens to view the same information as we do, and turn it on its ear.
Years ago, I met my estranged grandfather for the first time ever. I was in my 40’s. He spent a partial evening and one full day with my younger sister and I, the only grandchildren he had never laid eyes on, and he passed away the next day of natural causes… while we were staying at his house.
I guess we were on his “bucket list”, as they say.
My sister and I drove away from there toward our original destination, crying. About 10 minutes later, I looked at her through my tears and said, “We killed our grandfather!” She and I could not stop laughing at the irony. We finally meet our mother’s father for the first time ever and he dies during our visit! What are the odds?
I know it sounds terrible, but humor was the only thing getting us through that cruel, emotional situation. Even now, years later, I still find it hard to believe it ended the way it did.
No matter what happens in life, we should try to find the levity in it. Not take ourselves so seriously. Laugh at our own mistakes and foibles or life’s idiosyncrasies.
We forget that goofing up is a part of learning and eventual mastery. Even sad situations like deaths and funerals call for humor and grace. The same things that get us upset can also make us laugh.
So the next time your inclination is to become upset, irate or indignant, take a breath and try to find the humor in the situation.
Connect to that ridiculous inner child who used to find reason for hysterics at the most trying of times.
Believe me, you'll be glad you did!
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