adBlockCheck

What's This Nonsense About Being Able To Laugh At One's Self?

Top Headlines

Recent News

How Big-Budget Movies Flop

Despite the recent box-office failures of Exodus, Ben-Hur, and Gods Of Egypt, studios continue to fund big-budget movies they hope will achieve blockbuster success. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how one of these movies becomes a flop:

Study: 96% Of Pickup Games Decided By Next Score

PRINCETON, NJ—Noting that none of the game’s earlier events factored into the final outcome in any way whatsoever, a study released Wednesday by researchers at Princeton University revealed that 96 percent of all pickup games are decided by the next score.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 30, 2016

ARIES: Sometimes in life, you just need to stop whatever it is you’re doing and take a step back. Actually, maybe it’s two steps back. Yeah, that’s good. Keep going. The stars will let you know when you’re far enough.

Office Manager Unveils New Rule

WARREN, MI—Stipulating that the regulation would take effect immediately, Summit Industries office manager Angela Werner reportedly unveiled a new rule Tuesday in a company-wide email.

Team Of Vatican Geneticists Successfully Clone God

VATICAN CITY—Describing the groundbreaking work as a major step forward for theological research, a team of Vatican geneticists held a press conference Tuesday at the Apostolic Palace to announce they had successfully cloned God.

What Is The Alt-Right?

A recent speech by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticizing the “alt-right” movement and its support of Republican nominee Donald Trump has shone the national spotlight on the ideologically conservative group. Here’s what you need to know about the alt-right

Aunt On Facebook Casually Advocates War Crime

WILLIAMSPORT, PA—Arguing that it was time to deal decisively with the threat of terrorism, local aunt Deborah Massey casually advocated a war crime Monday in a brief Facebook post, sources confirmed. “Any city that has ISIS people hiding out in it needs to be bombed to the ground.

Dad Shares Photo Album Through Never-Before-Seen Website

SECAUCUS, NJ—Wondering aloud how the father of three even managed to find the online image-hosting service, family members of local dad Phil Yates told reporters Monday the 57-year-old had shared a photo album with them through a never-before-seen website.

How Obamacare Can Be Improved

With Aetna just the latest health insurance provider to opt out of covering Obamacare markets, many are wondering what changes can make the Affordable Care Act more appealing to customers and insurance companies. Here are some proposed improvements
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

What's This Nonsense About Being Able To Laugh At One's Self?

I am not a humorless man. I've laughed heartily at skits constructed around the most ridiculous scenarios, and I myself am known for the occasional well-placed quip. But while laughter certainly has a place in life, I categorically reject the notion that one ought to laugh at oneself, even if only once in a while.

Preposterous. Absolutely preposterous!

To be sure, all people possess flaws and make mistakes. Such incidents, however, are opportunities to assess one's behavior and take appropriate corrective measures, not to make jests at one's own folly. Truly, to what end? Am I to believe that laughing at my foibles or moments of inflated self-importance is somehow beneficial, that there is some purpose in turning myself into my own object of ridicule? After all, any man who would make sport of my misfortunes would receive a cudgeling he'd not soon forget. Why should I be more forgiving with myself?

Could there possibly be a less appropriate way to confront adversity than with laughter? It would be like greeting a tremendous stroke of luck by crawling into bed and weeping into a pillow! It simply amazes me, this idea that laughter ought to be manufactured out of thin air at the precise moment when sound reasoning and honest reflection are needed most. No, laughter is not some universal cure-all or equalizer. It is merely a license for stagnation, an excuse employed by weak-willed individuals who lack the devotion and composure necessary to overcome their own inferiority.

Consider: Last month, I had the unfortunate experience of conducting an entire day's business with a rather substantial marmalade stain on my trousers. If I were one to laugh at myself, I might shake my head, smile, and think, "At least it wasn't hot soup," or, "Well, it looks like I've got something to spread on tomorrow's toast." But these observations, however amusing, would have amounted to nothing but a failure to confront the issues at the heart of my embarrassing blunder.

And nothing, not a thing, would have been accomplished. I would have added my name to the rolls of the frivolous, a list that, sadly, always seems to have room for another signature.

Well, let me tell you what I did. Instead of addressing my mistake with a self-directed witticism, I immediately set about making changes to my morning schedule. I now take my breakfast in my dressing gown and only after I'm properly energized by a bath, a cup of coffee, or both. Since undertaking these precautions, my pants have been stain-free. I identified a problem, conceived a multipronged solution, and put it into practice—all without laughing at myself as if I were some painted circus buffoon. And to those of you who say I will look back upon my marmalade predicament years from now and laugh, I say I will not. I will only look back on it with great seriousness as a vital moment wherein I chose self-improvement over humiliation. Progression over regression. Development over debasement.

What could possibly build more character?

Of course, this is but one small example. Over the course of my lifetime, I have remedied numerous lapses in judgment with this same diligence. But by all means, show me a man who has truly advanced himself with giggles or who has made himself stronger with a strict regimen of guffawing. Show me the man who overcomes his setbacks without clear thinking and conscientious effort, who chuckles his way to prosperity. Really, I should love to make his acquaintance.

Then, and only then, will I laugh at myself. I will laugh a great deal indeed!

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close