Susan Dustin, Thailand: Some days ago, I had a rough start and yet a great opportunity to laugh when I didn’t feel like laughing. I scrambled aboard a fast moving, crowded bus and found a seat miraculously, only to discover I’d forgotten my money purse. I started to laugh, as it really was humorous and rather silly of me.
I had my ATM card, so knew I’d be ok for the rest of the day. I cheerfully apologized and explained to the conductor I’d forgotten my purse. I really thought he’d cut me some slack, as it was only 30 cents worth and Thais are a usually easy going, fun sort of folk and love to have a joke with you. Instead, he loudly blasted me for what amounted to, in his estimation, my being a petty thief. Near to tears, totally humiliated, I tried to explain that I was not a criminal, my act was not intentional and I was sorry. He still gruffly ordered me off the bus while others glowered at me. I was tempted to sit and hold my ground, after all what could he do? Instead, defeated, I alighted gulping back the emotion that was threatening to undo me.
I felt so sad that this man and all the Thai people didn’t see my worth as even being 30 cents. Not one of the other passengers offered to pay, and neither did I ask. I trust God for what I need, my job is simply to give and I believe good will boomerang back to me somehow. I am sure though, they could also see I wasn’t a criminal or intentionally trying to do something wrong. I would have readily paid for anyone else without a second thought. In fact, some time ago, a mentally ill man bashed me and no one came to my rescue then either. On and on went this negative jibber jabber in my head and with it I became more and more discouraged wondering what I was doing and why I was doing it.
Eventually after a foray into the morass of, Poor-me Land” I reasoned that wasn’t I, “Little Ms. Sunshine-love-n-laughter” after all? Didn’t I impart the ability to reframe things through laughter to others and shouldn’t I try to live up to what I preached?
With that off I went into a series of, “So What! Thank God it’s not always like this! I made a mistake!” laughter exercises. I naturally lifted and was able to gracefully get through the day, facing what seemed like an endless herd of bad news and events, ha!
I believe laughter can help us retune bad things and make them better and at times even into wonderful blessings. I felt so much better for sharing a laugh, a few tears, my tangled up thoughts and for having been heard, sympathized with and validated.
Nowadays, I make sure I am carrying my purse, an immense gratitude for my friends, and the very important knowledge that I am truly worth 30 cents and a whole lot more.. hahahah