“Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.” While this sentiment expressed by Ella Wheeler Wilcox can certainly be accurate to a point, it is absolutely likely that when we cry, people who care about us will help us to deal with the tears we are experiencing. I think the kind of crying Wilcox is talking about is the whining and complaining we do when things don’t go as planned and we are unhappy and angry. However, when we share the mistakes and missteps we make, the use of self-deprecating humor can go a long way to ease the tension and create space for forgiveness. In this type of laughter, the world can laugh with us not at us. Laughing with someone is sharing the experience and the fact you have had similar experiences and are still around to tell about it. While we are not able to determine everything that happens to us, we are able to determine how we respond and react to those things, and it is this, that makes the difference.
Audrey Hepburn said, “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” When things don’t go well it does not remove the value a human being brings to the world. A person matters just as much when they are making mistakes as when they are wildly successful. Humor is one way to not take ourselves so seriously and to share the gift of laughter with others is truly liberating. Help people to think, “so what have I learned” when they are facing adversity rather than “woe is me”. It is this adversity that makes us steel and able to be resilient. Shout it from the rooftops, “I matter!”
If you can be, choose to be a role model and mentor for youth. If you can’t be, choose to support a youth worker who is. Join us in our work at Entrusted Legacy. www.entrustedlegacy.org or donate by going to http://entrustedlegacy.org/give-now-2