Oh my goodness, so much animosity in the world, so much anger. So many loud voices shouting past one another. So many people on edge, looking for a fight. So, so many of us convinced that we are absolutely right about EVERYTHING.
So much anxiety, so much angst. Every day seemingly darker than our nights. Isolated and lonely, we retreat to our cul de sacs, our silos, our lonely little corners.
How do we climb out of this quagmire?
Raise your sights. Look up instead of down. Try to listen more than you talk. (I know, so hard.) Sit in a different pew. Join a different lunch table. Walk on the other side of the street or the “wrong side” of town.
And more than anything let us not take ourselves too seriously. We need to learn to laugh at ourselves. It’s both disarming and charming and you will be far better company to just about everybody — including yourself.
Yes, learn to laugh at yourself. I guarantee if you relax and just be who you are (and no one can do that better than you), you will discover your inner comedian. Nothing is better for the soul than laughter. Humor is absolutely one of God’s greatest gifts.
Seinfeld taught us that even “nothing” could be hysterical, right? Binge watch it. Or Parks & Recreation. Or The Office. Or the sitcom of your choosing. Or maybe Monty Python?
Share the laughter. Invite a friend, a neighbor, a cranky family member, or your suitor. There is no cheaper date than popcorn and a movie from the comfort of your couch.
Tell your own funny stories. The time you mistook your wife for your mother-in-law. The time you bombed at karaoke. The time you pretended to understand French so you wouldn’t offend the waiter.
Lean in and listen; gather around the campfire. Do you recognize yourself or someone you know in one another’s stories?
As a preacher, I often tell personal stories. And in my free time, I freelance as a storyteller, too. For the last five years, I have been part of this amazing organization in Washington, D.C.: Story District. Their mission is to bring as many incredibly crafted first person true stories to the stage. Told live, up close, and personal. (They have classes, too!)
Recently, I told a story with my daughter at Story District’s Top Shelf at the Lincoln Theatre. We were honored to be the “closers.” Our story guaranteed to leave the audience laughing.
Rolling in the aisles funny. Pee in your pants funny. Laughing your backside off funny: the tale of our mother-daughter trip to the Mile High City — where we availed ourselves of all that is legal there and the hysterical antics that followed.
Laughter is air and water and light and fire, all rolled into one. It’s healing and revealing. The very best medicine for weary souls.
God’s greatest gift to humankind, in these oh so trying times. Hands down.