I just got an email from a woman who is going through an awful week, overwhelmed with grief for a beloved pet.
She prayed for strength to get through it. Just then, a friend texted her my fart story.
The laughter gave her a solid 24 hours of strength. When it was time to get some more, she read the story again.
People have shared their own variation of this to me countless times since it first went viral.
It’s not my fart story that gets the credit for giving her strength, of course. It was her willingness to open the door and let joy in.
Whenever I’m buried under a dark cloud, I think back to when Rob and I first got married and went ice skating with my sister and her family. I’m front and center in the video, chatting to the camera my niece is holding – and in the background Rob is ice skating, so – so badly. Slowly, yet entirely out of control, he eventually crashes wildly into a cluster of kids. None of us knew this happened until we all got together afterwards to watch the video.
I laughed so hard, I swear I slipped into the afterlife.
Every time I recall this glorious scene (I’m laughing now), I laugh just as hard. I don’t know how to explain it other than to say – after a laugh like that, I feel like I can conquer the world.
Laughter is funny like that. It brings joy to the forefront, and that somehow gives us strength.
It’s probably the hope of it all. If I can laugh like that, I’M ALIVE!
The bible says, “The joy of the Lord gives me strength.” It’s literally something we can use to give us leverage and jockey our way towards hope.
That’s why losing our sense of humor is a real bad sign. Like being in a bathroom stall and realizing there’s no toilet paper.
Time to panic – nothing good can happen next.
Where’s the humor gone? Faux outrage over every. possible. thing. might be the culprit. It’s super en vogue now.
And it’s noticeable too. Every top comedian from Tina Fey to Chris Rock have expressed their concerns about us losing our sense of humor.
I think we all know who they’re talking about (not us, obvi). They bought into the lie that in order to fight for their values and ideals, they have to be perpetually offended. It’s exhausting work, honestly. I hope they’re at least burning calories.
I’ve been hit with outrage over positive breast feeding pieces, innocent jokes about toddler sleep schedules and my horrified response to Rob using the organic frozen vegetables to ice his coin purse after a vasectomy, rather than the cheap GMO corn I had tucked in the back of the freezer.
And yes, I’ve been told I’m a “superficial b*tch” in the comments of the fart story. Oddly, Rob was called that too. He actually got attacked a lot in the early days because of his boob joke in the story, and I used to feel really about it.
Like rage, offense gives us energy for a moment, but in the end it turns to sludge and wading through it makes us weak and miserable.
I know, I know – there are a lot of things happening in the world to be offended about.
I’d argue that’s why we need our sense of humor now, more than ever.
I’d rather be strong, wouldn’t you?
So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch the video of my husband ice skating again.
And again. And again. And again. Forever.
Join the Word Up Daily List!
I know, you need another newsletter in your inbox like you need 5 extra bag of Candy Corn, but everybody needs a good word. A little pick me up. A little something to remind us crap just ain’t that serious and life is too precious to think otherwise.
Word Up Daily is a funny and inspiring good word from humor writer Anna Lind Thomas. Sign up to get it delivered to your inbox every day.