Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

I recently heard someone saying; “Don’t take life so seriously, it’s not like you’re going to make out of it alive anyway”. I laughed although I seriously thought he was right, no matter how you approach life it will always come with its challenges, so the best thing you can do is to have as much fun as you can whilst you deal with them.

I’m young, not working the most ideal job and I can think of a couple of other things that are not really going my way, and no matter how long I can sulk about them they won’t be changed by a mere sulky face. Time is a luxury, a constant, it is almost meaningless because of its infinity, or so we would imagine. Time is only given meaning by what is being done with it, as we can never really do anything to it. The smile you put on your face when you wake up makes your morning a pleasant one, but even if you hadn’t smiled the morning would have been there because of its consistency, but it was your choice to put a pleasant meaning to it.

I have learned to laugh at myself. Laughing at one’s failures doesn’t really mean you lack determination as a person and you’re satisfied with the way things are going, but it just means that even when you are at your last cent, you still have a good ass sense of humor because you know that it won’t cost you even that last cent of yours you would so wish to use sparingly. Let’s say I open the fridge and there is nothing in it, and I go find a couch where I sit and sulk for a couple hours before coming back to open it again only to suffer the same fate and realize that my sulky protest was truly of no benefit, not that smiling would have changed the fridge’s situation but I would have had a pleasant couple of hours before meeting my disappointment, again.

We tend to not trust people that go about life delightful. Only if a person is richer is the delight then understood, like ‘yeah he is supposed to be happy, he drives a Porsche’. Who said you need a Porsche to be happy? Who said being happy is a rich man’s luxury? This is because we materialize happiness. Sometimes I think about it this way, there is no way mere materials would make a person happy because happiness is meaningful, excuse me but I do not see much “meaning” on elevated floors, imported fabrics and loud engines tuned as a piano if they are just merely that, what comes with them brings about their meaning. With them come fame, prestige, status and entitlement, and that puts meaning in someone’s materialistic success, and not a German engine. Had your tangible success been enough on its own, you would have the biggest house ever, the largest bank account and 52 cars, and then hide away with them all in some Island in central Africa where you’d enjoy your “success” lonesome, but you wouldn’t dare because that would deprive you of your fame, respect, status and entitlement that bring about meaning to your 52 cars. Without meaning, they remain just that, materials, metals (and there is nothing meaningful about owning a large piece of metal, sand and cement).

Why do we find it bizarre for the “not so rich” to be delightful? It is because we have formed our own stereotypical definition of happiness. We have concluded that certain possessions constitute happiness, and if a man doesn’t possess them, it is impossible for him to be happy. Is that entirely true? Not by long short, because happiness is gratitude. Happiness is being surrounded by people who truly love you, being allowed an opportunity to share your ideas of the world with the world and satisfactory physical health, as your health is the God of your capacity. I have seen some of the richest men compromised because they got diagnosed with cancer, I guess the perfectly tuned Porsche engine is no longer of much value when you’re going through chemotherapy now, is it? This is when perspective gets clearer. I have seen men with amputated legs with most delightful smiles ever, because at that time they saw how valuable their lives are as they were weighed against mere legs. Again, is it wrong for the less fortunate to be happy? I guess the right way to look at it is; who has lesser? Is having less money really having lesser? Is money the most important thing in the world? Is it the meaning of life? I do not really know, but I have shared the most humble meals with the most cheerful families ever as opposite to the buffet I have dined at an awkwardly silent table with kids who study at the most sophisticated private schools, drive sports cars but still feel neglected, a wife who cheats on her husband with his chauffer and a he’s just a heartless monster because he was once so determine to be rich that he would “take care” of anyone who stood in his way, and from that to all the late night visits from sex workers he has lost touch with reality that he cannot even noticed the broken women right in front of his eyes.

I am not saying the rich are more miserable, nor implying it. I believe we are all just going through similar trials and tribulations in life. How we deal with them and the impacts we allow them to have on us are what makes them to look different. We often assume that taking care of a delicate matter with a smile means that you do not appreciate its intensity, whilst that is not entirely true. I do not see anything wrong with battling against your demons with a smile on your face, to me it implies that while you are taking the necessary actions to avert your circumstances you are also acknowledging that there is still a lot to be thankful for.

I recently bumped into this lady at a nightclub, I know her from her humble job and she is always delighted when I stop by. But that evening when we meet she pretended not to know who I was, I was extremely surprised (almost disappointed) by her not knowing me that I was uncomfortably persistent in reminding her who I was, after she realized there was no way of getting rid of me she finally confessed that she does know me, she added where she knows me from and she added that she only pretended not to remember me because this is not an appropriate place to talk about places such as where she knows me from. Needless to say the conversation came to a rather awkward end, although I could never seem to figure out why people cannot just be themselves everywhere they may be. Even when you’re not taking yourself too seriously, having a blast with your girlfriends you still find it a shameful thing that you are that sweet girl who works at an internet café. The concept of not taking yourself too seriously is to be cheerful, smile, laugh and make as many jokes as you can, who cares if they’re funny or Nah. But, do this in your own character; you don’t need to be in some nightclub acting “ratchet” to be your fun self and do your absolute best to run away from the reality, your reality. Why is it that you free spirited self is not your everyday self? Why is it that when you’re your wild self you rid of everything that might remind you of your everyday self? Why is it that your everyday self brings you shame?

The questions are endless. The lesson I hope to leave you all is that one has truly achieved meaningful happiness when they have truly emancipated their most honest being, acknowledged his failures and limitations, and are still able to smile throughout the day, and never tire of it as it comes from the heart.

Amen.

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