A good friend of mine, Jacob Hall, once shared with me his philosophy on life. “Life becomes a comedy,” he said, “when we let ourselves laugh.” Jacob’s words perplexed me, but perplexing as they were, I strove to understand them. His words started to make sense. Comedies are made, are watched, are appreciated because comedies take our worries away. Life could be lived, could be looked back on, could be substantial if life could do the same thing. If we could laugh at ourselves, at the things around us, we could find a lot of trivial worrying begin to melt away.
So much of life is funny. Life is full of humor; full of irony. Life is a satire, meant to be scrutinized for meaning and application, but ultimately enjoyed for its value as a piece of art. Life is beautiful and funny. There is so much to laugh at; there is so much to enjoy.
Trouble shows itself through those who refuse to acknowledge this as truth. They argue that life has so many downsides; downsides that lead to hate and depression and sickness and death. They argue about the downsides and I can’t say they’re outright wrong. In fact, I agree that they’re halfway right.
A good comedy has tragedy as well. It tells not only the story of some goofy guy and his zany adventures, but the story of that goofy guy once he’s hit rock bottom and his adventures aren’t that zany or adventuresome anymore. In a good comedy, the tragedy finds itself resolved before everything is said and done. And how does the tragedy solve itself? Through a laugh. The tragic situation alone does not hold the laugh. It is something hidden away, something held within; a memory perhaps.
My cousin’s funeral taught me many lessons about life; more than I could ever write about. My experience through her service, burial, and following reception set my beliefs alongside Jacob’s for the first time. For, after blessings were said, flowers were laid, and tears had fallen, smiles emerged. Eyes glimmered and laughs, though small at first, were heard. I know nothing about Crystal’s funeral was funny. The laughing and the happiness came from the memories we all shared of her. “Remember when’s” and “That one time’s” buzzed throughout the reception hall like bees over a honeycomb. It was in this moment that Jacob’s words made sense to me. Through our happiness, the gravity of the moment relented considerably. The laughter brought with it acceptance, and clarity, and stability. It brought security and drew us all closer.
Life becomes a comedy when we let ourselves laugh. A laugh is so much more than just a response to some situation or idea that labels itself as funny. Laughing lowers the walls we build to keep others out. Laughing helps us accept change and adapt to new environments. Life should be a comedy so we can laugh and learn to love the life we lead.
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