Laugh at yourself

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IMG_0004 (4)One word ran through everyone’s head as they watched Jennifer Lawrence fall on her way to accept her Oscar for Best Actress: awkward. However, when she reacted by saying, “You are all just standing because you feel sorry that I fell,” I suddenly had more respect for the actress.

In life, we all have the chance to decide how we want to react to awkward situations. In the public eye, we see examples across the spectrum, from the most extreme reactions to the most mild. I have seen all kinds of public figures get upset and lash out at the paparazzi due to their constant disregard for privacy, while others either shrug it off or laugh at it.

Ironically, those people in the public eye that poke fun at themselves instead of taking themselves too seriously are the ones I respect the most.

I believe it is important in life to have the ability to poke fun at yourself. Complications and stresses are a natural part of life. Trials are not something that can be avoided. It is a natural reaction to be upset and frustrated with the trials that come into our lives, but we always have the ability to choose how we are going to react when facing problems.

People all over the world respect and love Jennifer Lawrence because of her ability to laugh at herself. You can tell just by watching her that she doesn’t take herself too seriously. Accepting that Oscar last weekend is probably going to go down as one of the most monumental moments in her life. I’m sure she will relive that moment for years to come. In a perfect world, I’m sure she didn’t imagine tripping up the stairs in front of the whole world as she approached this important moment in her life. However, even though this was probably not her ideal, she chose to make the best of the situation.

One of my favorite quotes is by President James E. Faust when he said, “Don’t forget to laugh at the silly things that happen.” I believe that in life, a lot of the time we take ourselves too seriously. There is always much to be grateful for, and even in the hardest moments, usually there is something we can learn. Life is too short to take ourselves seriously all the time.

Recently at work in the newsroom, one of my fellow editors pointed out that one of my articles was getting a lot of hits on the Web. Interested, I looked at the article and noticed that almost all of the comments were negative. However, while this could have gotten me down, I saw that while there were a few negative comment, there were over 100 likes already on the page. I was really excited that so many people were reading my story and told this to my fellow editor. After seeing all the negative comments she commented to me, “Wow, if I were you, I would be upset by a lot of those comments, but you just seem to be happy about them.”

In this moment I could have chosen to be upset. If I really thought about it, some of those comments stung a little bit, but I was just more excited that people were actually reading the article. Why look on the bad side when usually there is something positive to take out of all situations?

There have definitely been many moments in my life when I have failed to laugh at myself and taken myself way too seriously. However, I am learning that life is more enjoyable as I choose to be happy and not stress about the little things.

Generally in life we are given a very small period of time to react to situations presented to us. As a result, I think it is important to decide beforehand the general attitude we are going to portray toward life. There are moments when we need to be serious and solemn, and it is in our own judgement to decide what those important moments are. Then the rest of the time, live life to its fullest and learn to laugh at yourself. Try it. It might surprise you how much easier life gets.

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