If You Can’t Make Fun Of Yourself…

First off, let me state that part of me thinks that the end of that title should be “move over and I’ll do it for you.” That, however, is not in keeping with the spirit of this post.

Instead I want to spend a little time riffing on the beauty of humility in its various forms.

The impetus for this comes from the fact that I was able to meet (and get the autograph of) legendary Marvel writer Chris Claremont. If you don’t know who he is, I am very, very sorry. Odds are you have seen the watered down version of some of his ideas when you watched the various X-Men movies. Claremont spent nearly two decades writing for Uncanny X-Men, creating some of the most memorable characters (including a plethora of new female characters) and many of the most well known story arcs including the Dark Phoenix Saga and the Tales of Future Past storyline.

Claremont spent time talking to each of the people who stood in line for his autograph at the Great Lake Comic Con last weekend. Not only did he sign the books, in many cases he would comment on what happened in that particular issue. After signing one person’s comic which contained the first appearance of crowd favorite Gambit he said “Ah yes, Gambit in his original pink uniform. He’s so pretty in pink. Oh, and he smokes too. Him and Wolverine, it’s how you can tell they are badasses. Can’t do that now.”

He was commenting directly on the material that he wrote and is so well known for. At one point he actually said something along the lines of If you can’t make fun of yourself you are doing it wrong.

I wish that more people would listen to this advice. It seems to me that a lot of the problems that spring up on a day to day basis arise because people are taking themselves or their causes way to frakkin’ seriously. We’ve moved to a point where it is almost impossible to engage in intelligent discourse because people are so busy defending their positions that they never examine the arguments of the other person. Instead of automatically dismissing anyone who disagrees with them, if they could only open their minds just a little bit we might be able to accomplish things.

This all starts with not taking yourself so blasted seriously.

Granted, one can go too far into the realm of self-deprecating humor.
2 We all know someone who no one listens to because they’ve spent too much time running themselves down for laughs. A little goes a long way.

1 This applies to politics, religion, gender, race, Mac vs PC, Playstation vs X-Box, and just about everything else.