Sunday, August 17, 2008

laugh often, at yourself most of all

I ran across this essay on "This I Believe" on npr. She and her husband describe the top three qualities of "The person I want to bring into this world" to be: honesty, caring about others, and the ability to laugh at yourself. I heartily agree with their pick. Especially the last. I've always felt that this was a really important virtue, but she explains why so well:

I believe that if you can laugh at yourself, it probably means you like
yourself, deep down inside, and you know that you're no better and no worse than anybody else. You'll probably have fun in life. And most importantly, you're more likely to forgive yourself when you're not always honest and you're not always caring.

My parents weren't perfect, and they didn't try to be, but this is one thing that they did really well. Humor was a form of affection in our family. We all learned to laugh, at ourselves especially. I remember hard times that our family went through, and in the midst of those hard times we were still laughing, sometimes at the hard times, sometimes in spite of the hard times. I thought about this while my brother Joe was home this week; I remember sitting at our dinner table, the six of us, Joe making everybody laugh, and thinking, "he's saving us right now by laughing. Laughter just saved us."


Becky said...

this is sooo sooo good...exactly how my fam was and sometimes i thought too much so, but, ya, laughter and jokes usually "saved" us too...i think that it also teaches you to be somewhat humble...i know there were lots of times when i had to swallow oh so much pride to be able to laugh at myself and allow my family to laugh at me too...

heather of the EO said...

One of the biggest reasons I married my husband was his sense of humor. Because I knew that it would take us through so much. Save us, really.

I am so glad we are SO funny :)

Becky said...

hey i noticed on facebook that you read (or are reading) shepherding your childs heart...i'd love to hear what you got out of it and what your latest parenting ideas are. =) all summer i have been trying to read grace-based should be an easy read, but i just dont have lots of reading time. it is really good and basically the same idea as shepherding but really focusing on Gods grace applied to parenting...very very good...i feel overwhelmed at all i have to learn and all the mistakes i made and am making!!