Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Necessary Navigation 12/24/08

I would not tread these perilous paths in safety, if I did not keep a serving sense of humor.

Horatio Nelson

It took me many years before I learned to laugh at myself and at the absurdities of the world around me. I was a sensitive, serious and somber kid. Not appreciating what others found funny, I was easily offended when people would laugh at me. In spite of the loving attempt by friends to point out the big red clownish bulb on my mental nose, I maintained my right to my own self-importance.
I don't remember exactly what it was or when it was that I finally learned to laugh at life and at myself. But I know that one day, when I was in some serious difficulty and had problems that I thought were too much for me to handle, I suddenly saw the funny side.
Humor is more than telling jokes It is the positive against the negative, the ability to see light where the darkness is gnawing, to spot the subtle thing that's alive in the wasteland, to see the end of the tunnel before you enter it, to breathe fresh air and life into an oppressed and suffocating spirit.
It must seem strange to one who hasn't developed a proper sense of humor to see someone laughing at their own troubles, but humor will minimize the troubles and the sufferer's reaction to them, piling up defenses against the fear and pain and freeing the soul to face up to them and solve them, That is a law of life.
One day in June, several years ago, my phone service went out. It knocked out my phone and my computer. I went to a pay phone and called the company. They said they would send someone around to fix it. That night there was a severe summer storm that caused flash flooding and knocked down phone lines all over the county. I was frustrated and almost in a frenzy. People were trying to reach me, friends, who were used to getting email from me everyday were getting very concerned about me.
It took a whole week for the repairman to finally get to me. When he got my service back up and running, there were two messages from the phone company telling me why they couldn't come to fix my phone.
I could grind my teeth in rage over the stupidity and silliness of that, or I could laugh.
What would you do?

DB The Vagabond Elf


Rose~* said...

I would probably laugh. Humour seems to soothe those rough bumps along the way, for me. Of course, over here, I would rely on my trusty old cell phone if the land line died.

Big Mark 243 said...

Interesting post ... humor is always strange to me, because it comes from hurt and pain, from either within or at others expense.

There seems to be a 'give up' in laughing with your misfortune. But in letting go of what our ego wants to defend, I think you get stronger and grow from it.

For me, when folks would pick at me, I would agree and 'be that' what they called me ... and from there, I would respond. It works for me, the old 'I know I am, but what are you thing'...

... and that I used to have quick feet!

a corgi said...

I had to laugh DB about the messages from the phone company while you were without service; its like with our Internet company, you sit on hold while you finally get to talk to a person, but meanwhile the recorded message is saying "you can access us on the web at....." and I'm thinking "I could if I had Internet"

it is good to laugh at ourselves and to laugh at situations that we can't control rather than let ourselves be consumed with anger or impatience; we will always be at the mercy of repairmen so we need to go with the flow and laugh it off

Merry Christmas!


Beth said...

I think you can probably guess how I would react, D!

I found that the best way to defuse a tense situation at work was with humor. I was the class clown of the lab. When you start losing the ability to find humor in a situation, you've begun to lose the battle. I fight sadness and fear with laughter and it works pretty well for me. Of course, we're all different, and there are times that I need to let myself be angry or stressed out or whatever...but I try not to let it last long!

Another great entry. Have a wonderful Christmas, D.

Much love, Beth

Linda's World said...

Good post DB. A good sense of humor is almost a must to survive these days. It certainly helps to smooth out the rough waters we all go thru at times. The Bible says "a merry heart is good medicine." That tells me humor & laughter is also good for us physically. Have a wonderful day...wish you were here, we'd take you along. Linda in snowy & cold WA

Arlene (AJ) said...

Without the ability to laugh at some of things one goes through or does, I believe closes you off from life and can make you become stressed out.....which is never good, so keep laughing, beats holding things in and getting angry any day.

Breezy said...

I don't have a good sense of humor and laugh at all situations like you described, but I don't get irate about it either. I usually have a what will be will be attitude. I pretty much accept the way companies respond and deal with things. If something was way out of line I try to talk to someone calmly to get it solved.