When it comes to fear, there is plenty of it going around these days. We fear the current pandemic and the measures that are being taken to contain it. We fear how others will react. We fear not being able to wipe our bums with pillowy softness, lol! But what we fear the most is having to face our own mortality. The thought that something we can’t see, hear, taste or smell is able to spread through our communities like a thief in the night and take those most precious to us away. We fear not being able to do anything to help those we hold dear.
This is where that old quote from FDR comes into play; “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” You see, fear is a tool that nature has given us to make us stop and thing about a situation before we act, not to keep us from acting. In times of great struggle, we fear almost everything. It can feel as though there is no way out and that you have no idea how to handle this. Trust me, you’ve got this.
Stand up and look that fear in the eye, feel it for a moment…then make a horrifically inappropriate joke.
My family tends to make horrible jokes when it comes to making it through hard times. One example of this was when my dad was hospitalized and he thought he was going to lose his leg. My brother and I told him it was ok because we would work on our whittling skills and make him a claw foot peg leg so he could be a pirate with stability. He didn’t find it very humorous at the time, but he laughs about it now saying that us joking around was what kept him from loosing his mind in his fear.
Another example of having humor in a dark time was when I thought I was going to lose my best friend to a serious illness. We both love the movie frozen and we quote it all the time. She was very depressed and giving up one day, and I told her I was working on her eulogy. She became very upset with me and started to tear up. I then smiled and told her it was going to be made up completely of Frozen quotes and I was going to see how long it would take everyone else to notice. She immediately started laughing and we began talking about who would react in what ways. It turned into one of our favorite inside jokes, even though it was borne out of pure fear of personal loss.
Many people will do this when they are in a school or work environment to break the ice. They will make a joke about themselves because they fear that others will do it anyway.
My point is, laughter can always help cure fear. Think of Patch Adams. He literally opened a hospital built on the idea that laughter can help cure almost anything, and I agree whole heartedly with him.
Next time you find yourself succumbing to whatever fear it is right then. Take a moment to breath, and then think of a funny memory or joke. Don’t worry if others will find it “inappropriate” or not. We all deal with things differently and it should always be our goal to put smiles on the faces of others through the fear.