You’ve probably been told more than once over the course of your life not to take yourself, the people around you, or the world in general too seriously. Lighten up a little or a lot. Roll with the punches. It doesn’t mean anything. Nothing really matters ( … “to me” ).
Well, I’m here to tell you the opposite.
Take yourself seriously, the people around you very seriously, and the world you live in very very seriously.
Because, no matter what you’ve been told, you have only one life, so do the people around you, and until we colonize another planet we can live on, we have only one world.
And because, all too often, we only get one chance to get it right, usually when it really counts.
How does one begin to take himself seriously? Seriously?
Since you are asking, here’s a list of things to do:
- Not everything is a joke. Look around you to see who else is laughing besides you. If it’s only you, then it’s not a joke.
- If somebody else is laughing too, look again to see who is not laughing. He won’t think it’s a joke if it’s at his expense or the expense of someone he loves. If that person is someone you care about, then it isn’t a joke.
- Don’t say or do the first thing that pops into your mind. Consider the fact that everything you do or say has consequences. Dwell on the fact that you can’t possibly anticipate all the consequences, good or bad, and most of what you can anticipate, you can’t control. Those trains have already left the station. You can’t control what others think. You can’t even control what you are thinking, but you can control what you say or do about your thoughts.
- You can’t expect everyone to forgive you for what you’ve done to them. Some won’t. Some will get even and some will walk away. You’ll have to work very hard to get back into someone’s good graces after you’ve wronged them and, even then, chances are they’ll never forgive you.
- Don’t believe the world has an infinite capacity to absorb our waste products. Our world is large but we are many.
There is room for humor, but not at the expense of seriousness.