Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
You're Kidding, Right?
Don’t you find that a really good belly laugh is medicinal? Since we are each beautiful originals, what I find funny you may not & vice versa. And then there may be many times where we can sit together laughing at exactly the same thing in the spirit of “me too.” I love that. Humour is something that I received an appreciation for early on as a wee girl. Both my Grandpa Brown & my Dad would tell such funny stories & jokes & I learned at a young age just how great a laugh until your face hurt felt.
If we think of times when we have packed our luggage for trips or moving, do we also pack the things that don’t take up any space & these take along too? What the heck are you talking about Saundie? Every time I have packed my bags for any journey or move, I have always stopped for a minute or two & scooped up what was to symbolize the packing of my sense of humour. I have always known that I would need wit for all journeys in my life. Thankfully, along the way to adult hood, I have been able to add to the packing of more humour. The laugh could be in the form of a joke or story that I remember from when I was a wee girl or a show I saw or a comedian or movie or cartoon or a shared laugh with a friend. There is always room for more laughing I believe in my life.
As a little aside, last Spring I was given the gift of humour once again in the form of a new friend. This is a gal that I had noticed with a smile for about 5 years & would say hi to if we happened upon one another out & about. Apart from that though, we had not had a conversation. The neat thing though was that I would often think to myself that I knew that this gal is a character & that one day somehow I was sure we would be friends. Last Spring we ended up in a community group together & were seated at the same table. We became instant friends over several huge jokes & laughs. We just have that same funny bone & I love that. You are sure to have friends like this too & they are a hoot to be around. This friend is a profoundly generous person who gives her time, talents & love boldly & beautifully. And literally, I cannot believe that there was ever a time that we were not friends. There is such a depth to this incredible lady though because she has a way of feeling everything so honestly. Both of us were going through profound challenges when we met & we could talk to one another so easily about what was weighing heavily on our hearts. When you can cry as hard as you laugh & feel it all, there is just something that I cannot put into words about that. Even on our heaviest of days, there would come a time in the conversation when one of us would say something that made us both break out into heartfelt laughter. What a gift. We both share sentimental hearts & I wonder if this is the reason why we just seem to naturally know what would be funny & what would be hurtful.
If humour is often composed of words & words have either the power to heal or to hurt then are there situations that you can think of that jokes have been medicinal & other times hurtful? While we are sure to agree that diabetes or any other 365 challenge is not funny, we may at times differ on our views of what we find humourous at times about our challenges. Last week for instance I arrived at a meeting & a very fine gentleman was holding the door open for me to the building. Unfortunately, I knew with total certainty that I was in a dozzy of a low blood sugar. I thanked him for holding the door & slurred that I was in low blood sugar & would not be participating in any limboing & then laughed. That kind of humour is pretty natural for me because I don’t like for others to feel like they have to treat me with “kid gloves” when I am in either high or low blood sugar. I also like to explain why I am behaving as though I am intoxicated. A lot of people are pretty used to my sense of humour. Some people kind of roll their eye balls at me at times but most laugh & feel more at ease. That’s fine because I “get” that not everyone is going to enjoy a laugh & everyone is different so just being myself seems to make sense.
There is some humour that I do find hurtful especially when it comes to living with type 1 diabetes. Last week as I was browsing through a website that has nutritious recipes posted on it, I came across a “joke” post. It was not the first time that I have seen this joke however the context of this joke was in “poor taste.” If you have diabetes, you may have come across this same joke. It is the one where it talks about a person having a certain number of chocolate bars, the person eats most of them so what does the person have (meaning how many chocolate bars are left). The punch line is that the person has diabetes. Personally I find that joke incredibly offensive on many levels however I generally have ignored the so called joke in the past. This time however, I did not. The reason for this is that a bunch of people out in the cyber ether chose to make derogatory comments about people with diabetes. This is not okay with me. It would not be okay with me if derogatory comments were made about another group of people fighting other chronic diseases either. With a background in sociology, I “get” the group dynamics factor at work in reading the abundant derogatory remarks aimed at diabetics. Does it take courage to stand up for what is right though even though or especially if negative group dynamics are at work? I say a big time yes to that! What is the opposite of courage? Most of us would answer cowardice. Would most of us agree that hopping onto the bandwagon of doing the wrong thing just because a large group of people are doing it is not only wrong but also cowardly & mean? We each answer that question for ourselves. My answer is that not only is it important to pack humour for life’s journeys but also to pack discernment, compassion, and courage. Will there probably always be some mean-spirited jokes out there targeting others? Yes, unfortunately there probably will be. What do we do about this? We each decide for ourselves. In this instance though the derogatory comments were vicious & I decided to stand in front of this. Respectfully, I stated that as a person with type 1 diabetes I found the comments hurtful & inaccurate & not okay. The people on the website seemed to be surprised that a person with diabetes would have been on their website since it was a site for healthy recipes. That is just plain strange!
Here’s the thing about humour though & that is that it is my belief that there is no shortage of chuckles that can be had with the spirit of friendship. If we need to tear one another down to get a laugh then to me that is pretty sad. There’s already too much of that in the world so adding to it in my mind is not the best choice. With compassion, care, courage, discernment, let’s go ahead & rip the lid off laughter in the spirit of building one another up instead.
My heart’s hope for you is that your laughs are endless. Laughter is after all a renewable resource!
Smiles, Saundie :)
May all the laughs we have this week be filled with lifting one another up & next Monday's sharing is yet to be written :)