I’ve always liked people laughing with me more than at me
Still, over the years I’ve also acquired a taste for people laughing with me at me.
Not always, but I’m getting better at it. Deliberately. For my health. If laughter is the best medicine, laughter at myself is a wonder drug. Self-effacing laughter is the best laxative for loosening a stuck up sense of self, keeping oneself regular, not an exception.
There’s a lot of talk about mindfulness these days. Here I’m aspiring to Don’t-Mindfulness, a body so fortified by self-effacing humor that it doesn’t mind exposure as an unexceptional muddling pompous buffoon.
More and more, I work to know that follies of humankind by introspection.
Reverse engineering from my experience, here’s a loose sequence for cultivating the art of self-effacing humor, 12 steps to overcoming the prickly pride of exceptionalism, the natural-born belief that one is inherently above the rest, exceptionally wise, thoughtful, kind or deserving by any standard, really, getting over the whole question of whether I’m exceptional, either better or worse than others.
Oddly, the steps as I see them start with cattiness, a lusty appetite to laugh at others. Indeed I wonder whether people too pure of heart to laugh at others can get very far through the steps. Here goes.