We’ve always been told that there are really only five senses; touch, sight, taste, hearing and smell. I think however there is another sense. It is not extrasensory perception like the TV Ghost Hunters would have you believe. It’s humor, or rather, a sense of humor.
At this very moment my family is going through a very rough time. There have been a lot of tears shed and emotions have been ramped up to a very high degree. It’s been angry and frustrating and painful for so many and yet, through it all, we’ve kept our sense of humor.
I will say that my family has a fairly morbid sense of humor, i.e. monster truck hearses, preserved to be embalmed as to stand up next to the coffin so we can be part of our own funeral receiving line, practical joke tombstones that squirt water on your crotch when one approaches, all that stuff. But it is our sense of humor that gives us the tools to deal with the tragic.
Having a sense of humor I think is as important to survival as the other five senses. If our evolutionary ancestors couldn’t have laughed at Thag and Grod getting mauled by that Sabre tooth Cat then I’m quite sure we never would have made it as a species. It’s our best and purest coping mechanism available to us.
This is not to discount the real and honest sadness of certain events. There are some things that are truly too tragic to poke at with the funny stick, but most events require a little levity in order to deal with them. It’s a way to put them in our mind warehouse and get back to the business of living our lives.
A house full of laughter is better than a house full of sobbing. It is the remembrance of the laughter shared that binds us together as a society and as families; even if those laughs are through rivers of tears.
Birth, death, and all that stuff that happens in between, requires us to use our senses to survive and carve out a little place for ourselves and those important to us. The most important of these senses, to me, is truly humor. I don’t think we could have made it without it.
So cry, but laugh. Weep, but smile.