Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
June 12, 2011
Life is more fun when we don’t take
ourselves too seriously
Some people take themselves too
seriously. They talk incessantly, as though everybody is dying to hear what
they have to say. They are totally focused on themselves. They have one theme:
me, me, me, and me.
Sometimes, in a sober moment, I
realize that I am one of those people. I can easily slip into
self-centeredness. When I realize that I have become absorbed with myself, it helps
to remember that I am not the center of the universe. Then I make a conscious
effort to stop taking myself so seriously, try to enjoy other people and become
a better listener. Soon life is more
To realize that the world does
not revolve around you does not diminish you. You are still a person of worth.
You are unique, in some ways an unrepeatable miracle of God. You have value to
at least a few people and there are things you alone can do to make the world a
It might help to have a good laugh
about your uniqueness. Your friends are probably glad there is no one else like
you. They would not enjoy having to put
up with two of you. Learning to laugh at yourself will help you be more fun to
live with. Nobody enjoys being around someone who struts like a peacock. But
people feel comfortable in the presence of someone with a healthy sense of
humorless life is filled with tension, friction, anxiety, and restlessness.
Those who live with such people are thirsty for laughter. They are always
looking for an oasis – a caring, smiling person who is genuinely interested in
other people, someone who can listen quietly.
The challenge is to simply enjoy
being the person God made you. Throw away visions of grandeur and accept the
truth about yourself. Be thankful for what you have and stop wishing you had
the stuff, and the gifts, that other people have.
Rejoice that though you are not
the smartest kid on the block, you are smarter than a rock. When you do
something dumb, laugh at yourself. Be satisfied with the brains you have. There
is a good chance you have not worn them out yet. Use what you have instead of
wishing you had more.
Take a good look in the mirror.
If that does not give you a good laugh, you may be brain-dead. So what if you
are not handsome or beautiful; just be thankful you don’t look any worse.
Decide to enjoy the way you look. After all, what you see is all you’ve got, so
enjoy it. You don’t have the money to get another face – and it might turn out
to look worse than the one you are wearing now.
Stop cold getting uptight about
the behavior of other people. You have a full-time job trying to control your
own behavior. Laugh when someone else makes a stupid mistake. And remember it
has not been two days since you made a blunder yourself. Laugh with people, not
at them. It can be good therapy for the soul.
As for mistakes, be real. If you
don’t think you make at least one a week, then you had better see your doctor.
You may be truly sick. Learn to do more than giggle and smile; throw your head
back and enjoy a belly laugh now and then. It will do you good.
My mentor and friend Ken Callahan
likes to talk about the origin of “Rule 63.” In the early days of AA
(Alcoholics Anonymous), Bill and Bob met with a hundred recovering alcoholics
to develop a charter for the organization. Eagerly, almost addictively, the
group formulated rule after rule until they had 62 rules and regulations.
Suddenly they realized what they
had done. "Their compulsiveness and addictiveness had run rampant in yet
another way," Ken said. So, with good humor amid healthy laughter, they
created Rule 63: "We will not take ourselves too seriously." Wisely
they scrapped the other rules and began the movement without the excess baggage
of all those rules. The great success of AA teaches us how helpful “Rule 63”
can be in all our lives.
If you are "the Boss"
where you work, Rule 63 will help you become a better leader. People will enjoy
you more. However, if you constantly have to remind everyone that you are
"the Boss," you are in real trouble and no doubt too tense for your
Observe the strings on a guitar
or violin. They must be tightened in order to play well, but they will break if
they remain tight all the time. Loosen up, be a real person, laugh a little,
and lead by example.
There is wonderful freedom in not
taking yourself too seriously. Hard work becomes drudgery unless it is mixed
with humor. But when the balance is right, life is enjoyable and other people
delight in being around "fun" people. Even if they don’t, you will
enjoy your own life a lot more. + + +