Thursday, January 12, 2012

What's So Funny?

In the time of your life, live - so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite variety and mystery of it.

William Saroyan
Hello Sandy
It seems that some people get started out in the wrong direction early on in life and grow up to be those who take delight in putting other people down and laughing at it as if it's a clever joke. We all know these people. They walk among us. I hope you're not one of them.

The strangest part of that reptilian behavior is that some of them expect the person who is suffering from some act of mischief, disrespect or cruelty to appreciate the joke and laugh along with the perpetrator.

I knew such a man when I was a teenager. Unfortunately he was the father of my best friend at the time. As a result whenever I was visiting I had to listen to his stories of how delighted he was to have stolen something from someone, or humiliated someone or forced someone into an embarrassing situation. He shared this information with me and his family expecting praise. He seemed like a nice, intelligent gentleman in every other way. Because he was my friend's father I could never register any criticism of his behavior. I don't know if my friend grew up to be the same way. We lost contact after high school.

I lived in an apartment building that had three washers and two driers in the basement. There was one tenant who, if he saw someone was waiting to use one of the driers would divide up his wash and use both driers so that whoever it was would have to wait longer. He would laugh. He was about 10 years old, so no one was going to smack him the face as they should have

I knew a man who, whenever he came to a parking space large enough for two cars to park there easily, would park in the middle so no one else could use it. If you questioned him about it he would smile and say "Let them find their own space."

These aren't street people or gangsters but ordinary people you might meet every day and not recognize any villainy in them.

The underlying question is how much enjoyment do those people really get out of life. How could anyone have any friends with that kind of behavior? Aren't they aware of their dismal spirits and that they are making a societal mess which the rest of us have to clean up with helpfulness, compassion and neighborliness? Evidently not. And the sad thing is if they were to get past this peculiar form of madness they might see a wholly different world, a world where the laughter is because of harmony, love and appreciation of other people's variety, a world where life is not abuse or humiliation. There is a world of enjoyment to be had if one is not stuck in the rut of making misery, of making a goal out of putting people down.

Marian Anderson said "As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there."

One evening I beat my friend's father in a game of chess. I didn't expect to do that but I did. And Guess what? I did not laugh at him for losing. Did he learn a lesson? Probably not.

DB - The Vagabond
Never Give Up
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A new year is upon us and since it is a time for celebrations, remembrances, resolutions and plans for the future I think people have things to say.

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DB - The Vagabond


pacifica62 said...

Some people get their kicks out of humiliating other people. Makes them feel big and powerful I suppose. The way I see it, what goes around, comes around and they will get it in the end.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Never did understand those who enjoy laughing at other's challenges.