Is your life a comedy or a tragedy?

I was watching a documentary about juvenile detention. What I noticed was how seriously the boys took everything. A well-meaning joke would turn into a violent scuffle. I thought, why do these guys take everything so personally?

If they just laughed, everything would be so much better. They could build friendships, create good memories, and improve their mood. Instead, they walked away hurt, angry and resentful. Little did I know, I had much more in common with these boys than I thought.

Sure, I didn’t punch someone in the face when they told a joke at my expense, but I may as well have. I would become defensive, angry, and ready to fire back. My ego was as delicate as a hollowed-out game of Jenga.

If my life was a comedy, the Liam Neeson from the film Taken played the leading role. 

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Liam Neeson – Taken

Eventually, I realised that things happen that I won’t like. It’s part of life. We can’t control them. What we can control is how we respond to them. We can either be the butt of a joke or part of it. We can cry alone or laugh in good company.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Viktor Frankl

I still act like I’ve swallowed a glass of lemon juice at times. I often get defensive, and this is ok, so long as I remember to add the sugar – a tablespoon of humour. I find then that it goes down much easier.

Sometimes, words are not uttered in good faith but to hurt you. These are the best times to laugh, not aloud, but inside.

Ignore the words, and go about your day, but be sure to enjoy a good laugh in your mind; a laugh at how funny it is that this person had gone out of their way to hurt you when all it did was humour you.

Life is either a comedy or a tragedy; it’s us that makes it so.

Published in Self Improvement, Psychology
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