Laughing at ourselves is good for us
We all know how to laugh at others. If someone makes a stupid mistake, it makes us laugh. Sometimes we ridicule them and make fun of them. Some of us even take great delight in other people’s faults and mistakes. We even spread the incident to everyone we know and gossip about it.
But what about laughing at ourselves ? What about when we make a stupid mistake ? Especially when we think we are the most intelligent and smart people in the world. Well, we usually don’t take it very well. We resent those who watched our silly act or slip of the tongue or stupid behavior. We feel bad when we see the smirk on their faces or their pointing out our mistake. Even when nobody knows about it, when we do something stupid, we become self-critical and put ourselves down.
This is because our ego is bloated. We take ourselves too seriously. We think we are beyond mistakes. We believe that only others can make mistakes, but not us. No….we are perfect!
What good does this do for us ? Nothing. So what if others think we are not perfect ? We are the center of our universe. It is our life and it us up to us how we live our life, as long as we don’t harm others or interfere in other people’s business. If we just change our outlook this way just a little bit, see what happens. Outlook is one of the most important words I can think of. If one’s outlook is positive and good, the world world appears positive and good. If one’s outlook is negative and bad, the whole world appears negative and bad.
When we change our outlook, when we don’t look at everything from a critical perspective, including towards ourselves, our minds become lighter. We feel relieved, happier and peaceful. So what should we do when we make a mistake? We should learn to laugh at ourselves. It’s alright if we make mistakes. It’s okay if we are stupid and silly and not so smart sometimes. It makes us normal and human. Everybody makes mistakes. Why shouldn’t we? We forgive others, why can’t we forgive ourselves? When we have this attitude, the heavy burden of being the most important, self-righteous person in the world is lifted.
What’s the big deal about not making any errors, as long as they were not malicious and intended no harm to anyone ? Of course, we all try and should try to do anything well, to the best of our ability. But that doesn’t mean that we have to be paranoid about making mistakes.
One can even go so far as to say that to be fallible makes us turn inward and become spiritual. It makes us learn from our mistakes. It makes us better people psychologically. It makes us stronger and deal with life’s day to day problems. It prepares us to deal with bigger ordeals and face the world.
Socially, it makes us more popular. When we laugh at ourselves, others laugh with us instead of at us. It adds hilarity and fun to the situation. They like us more because we are not egotistical and self-centred.
One thing I would like to emphasize is that when we make a mistake, it does not mean we are stupid. We are as intelligent and smart as we were before the incident, and probably will be as much, if not more, after the incident. Mistakes should never make us lose our self-confidence, self-esteem, our faith in our abilities and intelligence. We should understand that this is part of life. We win some, we lose some. The world is always full of opposites. When there is good, there is bad. When there is a win, there is a loss.
The best behavior in life is to act as best as we can, but be mentally balanced in wins and losses. We cannot win and be right all the time. But we can be equanimous in success and defeat. It’s okay either way. Happiness in not outside in the objects and events, but it is in our mental attitude and outlook. And this has to be consciously practiced in life, because habits take a while to change. As Abraham Lincoln said, “people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be”.
So, let’s laugh at ourselves a little! Let’s have some fun at our expense! We will not become any less because of that. I guarantee it.