“People with a sense of humor tend to be more humble in moments of success and less defeated in times of travail.” (Bob Newhart) – from the Jack’s Winning Words blog. I always liked the approach to humor that Bob Newhart took.
In times of travail, disappointment or failure my wife and I often say to each other, “Someday we’ll look back on this and laugh about it.” Just that little reference to the humor that might be found in the situation is usually enough to relieve the moment or lighten the mood.
I’ve always found that a good sense of humor and of the humor that may be found in life is a great coping mechanism. Whether the humor is found in the thought, “What was I thinking to do that?” or perhaps in reflecting on my over-reaction to the situation; there is usually something in every situation that can bring a laugh or a smile to my face. That smile usually breaks the mood and helps me get through whatever it is.
Sometimes we all take life and the situations that we find ourselves in way too seriously. There are few real life and death situations or decisions in our day-to-day lives, even though we make many of them out to be that serious. The young are especially prone to over-reacting to events, since they have no real base of knowledge or wisdom to draw upon. To many of them every moment of crisis is an OMG moment. Later in life they become “been there, done that” moments, which your wisdom helps you understand didn’t kill you the first time and probably won’t kill you this time either. Being rejected for a date or getting a pimple before the big dance is not life-ending.
Self-depreciation or the ability to laugh at yourself is important too. It keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously or thinking too highly of our self-importance. Humility in the face of success is based upon seeing the humor in the alternative outcome or perhaps the happenstance that led to the success. The humorless man is said to have hubris instead.
Sometimes the situation at hand is so dark or sad or overwhelming that we might have difficulty finding any humor in it at all. At times like that I often think of the Al Capp character Joe Btfsplk from the Little Abner cartoon. Joe walked around with a little dark rain cloud over his head all the time because he was the world’s worst Jinx. Bad things always happened around Joe. Instead of feeling like Joe, I find a little spark of humor in the thought of Joe that helps lighten my mood.
Do you find humor in life’s situations? Does humor help you get through your day or through bad situations? It can, if you let it. I’ve written here in the past that I make a silly face in the shaving mirror almost every morning as a way to start my day with a little humor and a mechanism to help me not be so serious all the time. Try it tomorrow morning and see if that doesn’t put you in a better mood to start the day.
Put a little humor into your life. Someday you’ll look back on the things that are troubling you today and laugh about them.
I have always loved Bob Newhart’s humor. He did just as you said, if something was hard or bleak, he would say something funny to lighten the mood. I use that in my life too. Thanks Norm.
[…] sneak back into that childlike mode of pure fun from time to time or as needed. I called that post “Put a Little humor in your life” but it was really about being able to get back to that childlike state of mind that can allow you […]