Shakespeare famously said that one man’s tragedy is another man’s comedy.
And yet, when sad things happen in the world, our response shouldn’t always be to laugh, but to internalize. To check ourselves. To get out of judgment mode and take this moment of introspection to create some positive movement in the development of our own character.
One technique I find helpful is responding to external tragic moments with internal wonderment questions. When I see a person being victimized, I ask myself, wow, I wonder if there is anyone in my life that I treat this way?
When I hear about the dissolving of a relationship, I think to myself, man, I wonder how I could to be a better friend to people I love?
When I witness catastrophe and death and loss, I remind myself, yikes, how can I use this as a bell of awareness to bring me back to center and live every moment?
When I notice a behavior that offends or bothers me, I say to myself, geez, how I can train myself to act differently than that in the future?
And it’s nothing personal against comedy. I’m the first person in any situation to find the humor buried within. But once the laughter die downs, it’s important to also use misfortune as an invitation for personal growth.
That way, one man’s tragedy is another man’s progress.
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That Guy with the Nametag
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