Learn To Laugh

Comedy is about other people’s pain. Wiley Coyote going off the cliff one more time is funny. The guy slipping on the banana peel is hysterical as long as you are not that guy. Humor is mostly a status drop for someone.

I’ve been writing and drawing a cartoon called FL!P for almost half a year now so I’m inadvertently making a study of what’s funny and what is not. Recently some acquaintances that know me from my coaching life took me to task because my comic strip seemed out of character. “It’s mean,” they said. “Yes.” I said. That is precisely why it is funny.

The strip is aimed at entrepreneurs and there is a need for a bit of levity in a world so steeped in self-interest and confusing agendas. In many traditions around the world the trickster is an integral part of worship. We are not meant to take our gods so seriously. The reverence is always found in the relationship and the realization that the godhead is in all of us. It is our flaws that take us closer to the creative. Worship is a relationship and a full relationship includes laughter, joy, play, as well as inner quiet and awe. Tricksters break rules and pull the blanket off of societies inequities. Tricksters help us see what we pretend not to see. The Emperor would still be strutting around naked if the trickster boy hadn’t spoken a truth that the rest of the village denied. Truth comes easier with laughter. I can tell you that there is much public prancing in the world of accelerators and incubators but very little real apparel. Humor is necessary in a landscape so rife with pretending.

Artists are often of necessity the tricksters of their culture. It is the artists’ job to open eyes to what is there (versus what we think is there). It is the artists’ job to bring the communal attention into the present, to slap-stop the puffed up importance of things that do not matter so that the things of real importance can be seen. With a 24 hour news cycle and a congress ruled by corporate dollars it is hard for us to sort out what is valuable and what is not. The narrative in the commons rarely reaches the level of significance. It is no wonder that many people confess to getting their news from John Stewart and Stephen Colbert (both heroes of mine).

The greatest lessons of my life did not come gently and I am all the more grateful for the force behind the learning. My lessons came with status drops and like Wiley Coyote I have gone more than once over the cliff with an anvil close behind. Comedy is mean. Learning requires falling down. Stepping into the unknown is potent because of the myriad of things to trip over. If you can’t laugh at the bungle you’ll miss the lesson.

897. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

For a humorous look at the wonderful world of innovation and new ventures, check out my new comic strip Fl!p and the gang at Fl!p Comics.

One Response

  1. Well said friend, truth is as a double edged sword and the trickster often has it’s way with it!

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