It feels good to laugh doesn’t it? It’s been medically proven that laughter is a great tool that can be used for healing purposes. But there is definitely one use of it that can end up doing the exact opposite, and that’s when laughter is being used at someone else’s expense.
Have you ever been in a group of people where one of them is poking fun of you and making everyone else laugh hysterically at you? While it’s going on, do you silently squirm inside and just wish they would stop. And do you feel terrible or embarrassed inside when it’s finally over? If you could answer yes to all of these questions, then you probably can understand how this use of laughter is quite unspiritual.
People tell me all the time that I should develop a stronger backbone. In other words, what they mean is that I should be able to take the jokes being said about me much better. But what none of them ever understand is that in many cases like my own, it gets old. I grew up being constantly picked on, made fun of, and laughed at by so many groups of people. It was never fun and many of my younger school years were often miserable because of it. Thankfully, God helped me to forgive all those people and heal from that trauma, but it brings me right back to those days when it happens in the present.
I know that many of the times that people make fun of me today; it’s never to hurt me. I totally realize that. But I’ve learned that a main reason why we ever make fun of anyone else is because we’re insecure on some level inside ourselves. Making fun of someone else’s shortcomings essentially takes the focus off of our own. I’m not sure anyone really likes to have their shortcomings highlighted for a group of people to laugh at. And in some cases, it can really hurt a person, especially when they have had a life full of it. So ask yourself this question right now. Is it really being spiritual when you have everyone laughing at something you’re saying about someone else when it’s truly hurting that person on any level inside?
It’s one thing if you are alone with your partner or a best friend and you’re making fun of each other because that’s how your relationship is together. But it’s another thing altogether when you’re in a group of people doing it to that person or someone else. In those situations the variables change and it’s much harder to distinguish how the person is going to take things.
My general rule of thumb when I’m out and about in large groups of people is to never make fun of anyone else. The only exception is when I’m 100 percent sure it’s something the person is known to have a laugh about themselves. That rarely happens so I’ve learned how to make groups of people laugh by poking fun of the things about myself that I’m comfortable with. I also like to use silly faces, animated body gestures, and manipulation of my voice in weird ways to do the same. In both of those cases, my use of laughter is always spiritually healing and connecting, instead of potentially hurting or isolating someone in a negative way.
While I do believe that it’s important to laugh throughout life, it never should come at someone else’s expense in a group of people, especially where you’re not 100% sure how they’re going to receive it. So the next time you’re thinking about making fun of someone else in any group of people, I encourage you to take a moment, breathe, and think twice about doing it. Unless you truly know how the recipient will end up taking it, your attempt at poking fun may end up causing them more harm than good. Instead, try learning how to make others laugh by making fun of yourself; as maybe then the people might be laughing with you, and not at you…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson