“To make mistakes is human, to stumble is commonplace, to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity”
-William Arthur Ward
Have you ever passed by a grand opening of a store or a business that has a giant dancing balloon man, just waving in the air? Dancing balloon men are popular advertising tools and although they succeed at getting one’s attention, personally, I find them annoying and shake my head whenever I see them. They look ridiculous. Like what if that thing comes unhooked and blows away?
The other day, while driving, my mom and I noticed one of these guys, bending over sideways and flopping in the summer heat. Immediately, she pointed it out to me, making some sarcastic comment. Rolling my eyes and without skipping a beat, I responded “it looks like me on a bad day”.
This poor guy, (I know it’s just a balloon but work with me here) he’s waving in the air, has no control of himself or where he goes. Because of cancer and radiation damage to my brain, I’m very much the same way, swaying side to side as I walk or looking as though I have no control of my movements. My family has nicknamed me “Gumby” because I bend backwards, forward, and sideways, struggling to keep my body upright and appearing as though I have no spine.
Thankfully, not everyday is like that and after a long, frustrating Monday at work, I was being a bit over dramatic but the truth in that comment made me laugh. As much as my disabilities and lack of balance irritate me, sometimes taking a step back, laughing at myself or making a joke out it, reminds me to not take myself so seriously and that it’s okay to have flaws.
Laughing at ourselves may seem like something that doesn’t really affect one’s attitude on life but for me personally, I have to regularly laugh at myself in order to let go of the past, remain focused on the future, and remember that I am in control of my own destiny. When we are unable to find humor in what we lack, obsess over being perfect, and allow other’s perceptions influence our lifestyle, we are no longer in control. We start to become like those dancing balloon men, waving in the air, swaying all around, influenced by our enviroment, and only grounded by mental stakes. But when we laugh at ourselves and accept our flaws, we are empowering ourselves; releasing all of those negative thoughts and replacing them with confidence and positive vibes. And who doesn’t like being confident and empowered?
“More important than talent, strength, and knowledge is the ability to laugh at yourself and enjoy the pursuit of your dreams.”