I’m a big fan of laughing. Who’s not? I don’t know many people who don’t enjoy a good laugh, but I do know many people who could use more humor in their lives. I’m not talking about people who are so down on luck and opportunity, or so oppressed and abused, that little is funny. I’m talking about activists and changemakers (many of whom read this blog) who are working to change unjust, destructive, and inhumane systems — the very ones that perpetuate the numbers of the downtrodden, exploited, and abused.
It’s hard to laugh when one regularly confronts and tries to stop cruelty and suffering.
But we need to laugh. Laughter keeps us healthy and joyful; it fosters community and connection; it increases our capacity for building bridges. And the more joyful and connected we are, the better we will be at making a difference, and the more likely others will want to join our rip-roaring, good fun, changemaking club.
I think activism needs a better image. Imagine if when you heard the term activist, you envisioned someone with a smile on her face and a joke at the ready, with joyful energy and infectious enthusiasm for creating positive change.
So I’m doing my part. I created a one-woman show, My Ongoing Problems With Kindness: Confessions of MOGO Girl, to bring important global issues to audiences in ways that make them think and laugh.
What do you do to keep a smile on your face in spite of grave problems and tragedies? Please share your thoughts, and together, let’s be the most joyful changemakers we can be.
Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education
Author of Most Good, Least Harm; Above All, Be Kind; and The Power and Promise of Humane Education
My TEDxDirigo talk: “The World Becomes What You Teach“
My TEDxYouth@CEHS “How to Be a Solutionary”
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