HUMILITY, HUMOR, AND HUMANITY
Angels fly because they can take themselves lightly.
--G. K. Chesterton
Tales of two painters
The early years of the great painter Paul Cezanne were difficult and his career was, from the very start, troubled with frequent rejection and failure. His family considered him peculiar and were unsupportive of his art.
After much family turmoil in his younger years, his father gave him a small allowance and he left for Paris where he worked alone and ignored.
Another painter Camille Pissarro became his mentor both lending him moral support, and influencing his palette. Cezanne, in a relatively short time period, switched from dark tones to bright colors.
Cezanne produced beautiful works as an unknown painter for many, many years. His commitment to, and passion for, his art was strong and unwavering and he did not strive for fame or even lesser recognition.
One day, a French art dealer happened to see the masterpieces of Cezanne. He was so impressed that he collected several of the paintings and arranged an exhibition in his gallery. Visitors to the dealer’s gallery were stunned as they saw for the first time the works of the unknown master.
The story goes that Cezanne arrived at the gallery and was also stunned. He had never before seen his work featured and admired this way. He walked around looking at his paintings, leaning on his son for support. Slowly he turned his head and looked at his son in surprise and awe. Cezanne then said, “They have put them in frames!”
And the second painter story: Picasso was being interviewed by an inexperienced critic. The critic asked why Picasso did not paint things to look as they actually do.
“I am not sure what you mean,” Picasso replied.
The critic took a photo of his wife out of his wallet and showed it to Picasso saying, “Like this. This is how she really looks.”
Picasso looked at the photo and said, “She’s quite small. And rather flat.”
Two of the excellent “hum” words are illustrated by these stories -- humility and humor. Humility and humor are interconnected. One sure way to see their relationship is the I Can Laugh Now phenomenon.
Have you ever had something happen to you that seemed awful at the time but now, as you look back at it, you say, “I can laugh now . . .” The time between the supposed awful event and the I Can Laugh Now is much shorter for a person with a good sense of humor than for those living in the Drama Zone.
People with a sense of humor can watch themselves and laugh at their own trials and tribulations. They have humility. Because they can laugh, they have hope for themselves, others and our often crazy world.
The deadly serious people in the Drama Zone, the ones who almost never say, “I can laugh now . . .”, often have no hope and thus may not honor the glorious strength of humanity -- the human spirit. Humility, humor, humanity -- wonderful, hmm?
And today . . .
Today make yourself an I CAN LAUGH NOW notebook. Write down all the stories of your times of trial and tribulation about which this day you say, “I can laugh now . . .” Add to it as the days go by. Laugh as you write. Remember how good laughter is for you and laugh some more.
Shorten the time between trying events and “I can laugh now . . .” so your book of stories can grow faster. When you shorten the time, your sense of humor will grow, too.
Tell your stories to others, lots of others, and you can bet they will laugh with you. Some of the best humor comes from I Can Laugh Now stories. Your I CAN LAUGH NOW notebook will be a gift to yourself and to other people in your life. Can you hear the giggles now?