Saturday, March 23, 2013

Love and April Fool's
I have never been a big fan of April Fool's Day. I never thought I was that big of a jerk. You know the kind I mean: the ones that will put the thumbtack on your seat, the bucket over the door, or the glue on the toilet paper. The ones that will stand back and wait for you to scream out in pain or freeze in catatonic shock, then drop into fits of uncontrolled laughter at your expense.

And I did use the word “jerk” in describing those who pull of these kinds of stunts. Maybe I'm overstating their character just a little, so let me put it in this context. The behavior that results in putting somebody else through even a little pain so that you benefit is at least shortsighted and, if you just call it as it is, it's a little cold. You may not go through your life being a jerk but, if you really get into that kind of humor, you might be sliding toward the dark end of the “jerk” scale. You might want to look at that.

I just don't get it. I never have. I was never able to see the humor in somebody else's pain. I never really got slapstick humor and when I was a kid. I don't like to watch people being hit, scared, tripped, or pushed. Seeing somebody get hurt always made me wince. It didn't register with me why others would get pleasure out of that. And I absolutely never understood why somebody would laugh at someone else's pain.

I don't want to sound overly serious. I think I have a pretty good sense of humor. I generally look at life with a smile on my face, or at least I try. But when I see somebody hurt, my first impulse is to ask them if they need help. I have never felt the urge to laugh.

So when I see April Fool's Day coming around the corner, I'm bothered. I don't look forward to witnessing the pranks pulled on others. I don't like to see the anxiety associated with the manufactured fear then the relief that come when the fear has passed. There is very little good that comes from this when you're the one being made to look the fool. When it's you that's receiving the pain, April Fool's isn't funny.

So I would ask that, this time around, be mindful of the feelings of others. I know it sounds a little bland, and I don't mean to. I actually do laugh, a lot, and sometimes frequently. I just don't laugh when pain is deliberately inflicted to someone else. That whole “do unto others” thing cuts down on that.

Enjoy the day as it is any other. It's the start of a new month. Maybe this might be a good idea to make a monthly resolution. For April, resolve to cause no one any pain. And see what kind of smiles that brings to your face.

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