Ever since John Mackinnon gave me this beatitude, it has helped define me.
The ability to laugh at yourself does not come easily to everyone and there is a fine line between healthy ‘self-deprecating’ humour, which blesses and lightens the soul, and ‘self-destructive’ laughter, the product of self-loathing, which piles up guilt and sorrow at how silly and clumsy we can be. Some of our funniest comedians confess to being fragile inside, using humour to earn love and respect. Without Grace and unconditional Love as source of your inner identity one will always be chasing after illusive acceptance.
Being able to ‘healthily’ laugh along with others, at your own expense, requires ‘self-love’ and ‘self-esteem’, strong enough to withstand embarrassment and mistakes made. The more aware of how much you are loved and precious the more able you are to crucify pride and laugh at how silly we look at times.
I think the ability ‘to love your neighbour as you love yourself’ (second greatest commandment) is similar to the learned skill of laughing at one’s own expense, for you have to experience unconditional love (e.g. from God and significant others) before you can truly love yourself and share that wellbeing with others.
I take my turban off to Fr Boyd and Rev Tendai for how freely they’re willing to have people laugh at their expense. Our ‘Are Ye Wise!?’ videos are thoroughly cringe-worthy, with no danger of Oscars or auditions for Strictly Come Dancing. But the deep joy and laughter we’ve enjoyed within the Irvine Community is humbling.
“Only in Irvine!” “Weird!” “What on earth are these guys up to!?” “Well done!” and “Absolutely Brilliant!” are some of the remarks received on Facebook and Youtube about ‘Seagate’ Episode 1. Some don’t ‘get it’, but we’re making lots of people smile, laugh and celebrate ‘Giving Something Back’ in our town, which makes it worth while.
On Saturday Willie returned from annual leave and was straight into conducting a funeral, wedding and Mass, but still managed 90 minutes for filming! We photo-bombed Franca and Scott Duffy’s photos (thanks Michelle Campbell for this copy). Shortly after, wedding guests passed us ‘on set’, next to the Townhouse. Fr Willie Boyd (who took the wedding) asked them if they’d been at a wedding. After a few closer looks, the penny dropped with disbelieving laughter!”
Thank you Lord for the love, self-acceptance and ability to take oneself lightly and share laughter at my expense. Friends, keep sharing the smiles!