Finding Humour In Tragedy

Is stress a matter of laughing?

I know it may sound crazy to you, but it is possible and in a way, necessary to find humour in tragedy. 

 When there is a setback– a death, an accident, loss of job, or something of that sort – there is nothing funny. It doesn’t sound good to laugh at any of this. What looks appropriate in this condition is crying, cursing, expressing grief or all these expressions.

It is difficult for anyone to move on without these expressions. The time taken for moving on depends on person to person and the degree of loss. Like everyone knows the bigger the loss, the more time it will take to heal.

After the initial period, humour often emerges as a coping instrument. Laughing at a problem gives power and a sense of control over it. Otherwise, depression sets in and worsens the situation.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression.

Everyone is here, in this world to learn lessons and face the situations put into them. It is difficult to cope sometimes but if not, is there any solution?

The answer is a big “NO”.

Not dealing with emotions or any kind of disaster will not get anyone out of that trauma. Instead, depression, anxiety and many more problems will arise in no time.

Healthy coping requires flexibility of outlook.

Peter McGraw, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, director of the Humor Research Lab, and co-author of The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny. “The things that are bad in our life can also be good fodder for comedy,” McGraw says. “The act of making jokes is about transforming these violations and transforming them into something that is laugh-worthy. It allows us the opportunity to see situations differently.”

That is what humour’s role in a tragedy is all about. We need laughter both to remind us that we will ultimately triumph over our adversity, and to help clear our heads for successful problem-solving.

Some psychologists say,” Humor is tragedy plus time…but how much time”?

I am not talking about big tragedies of life like death or loss of our loved ones which cannot be reversed by doing anything. These wounds can be healed with time only that too partially.

 My focus is on more tragedies like events in life that disturb a normal routine. Given some time depending on the type of tragedy: the feeling of sorrow can be changed into comedy. 

The other day I was watching a stand-up comedy show on TV. The comedian was struggling to make people laugh until all of a sudden, a bag full of sand fell on his head, and the audience burst into laughter. The price of laughter was a comedian’s personal tragedy which he was ready to pay because making people laugh was the measure of his success.

It was funny to watch but if it was me, it would be like a tragedy.😀😀

Imagine if your friend pressed the wrong button on the phone and donated 2000$ instead of 50 $. It will give you a good laugh and you will enjoy it but if it’s you who has done it mistakenly, it will be a tragedy or loss and you will take some time to cope with it.😀😀

Closer people who make this kind of mistake evoke more laughter because the consequences are not serious. Maybe you can laugh about it years later also.

My point is: Do not ruin your life over small issues. Just laugh it away.

A joke was making rounds a few years back about the meaning of tragedy. Let me share it with you:

During one of his campaign trips, Donald Trump is visiting an elementary school and goes into one of the classes. They are in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings.

The teacher asks Mr Trump if he would like to lead the discussion of the word “Tragedy.” So, he asks the class for an example of a tragedy.

One little boy stands up and offers: “If my best friend who lives on a farm is playing in the field and a runaway tractor comes along and knocks him dead, that would be a tragedy.”

“No,” says Mr Trump, “that would be an accident.”

A little girl raises her hand: “If a school bus carrying 50 children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy.”

“I’m afraid not,” explains the exalted businessman. “That’s what we would call a great loss.”

The room goes silent. No other children volunteer. Mr Trump searches the room.

“Isn’t there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?”

Finally, at the back of the room, a boy raises his hand. In a quiet voice he says: “If a private jet carrying you was struck by a missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy.”

“Fantastic!” exclaims Mr Trump, “That’s absolutely right. And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?”

“Well,” says the boy, “because it wouldn’t be a great loss and it probably wouldn’t be an accident either.”

On a lighter note, Mel Brooks summed it up best: “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”😀😀

None of the blogs or opinions expressed within is meant as advice to you or anybody else on any matter, including but not limited to, personal finance, health, or other matters of life. If you need advice, speak to a professional!

Published by Anita Vij

A caring mother of 2. A loving wife. An aspiring individual who wishes to share her life-long learnings with the rest of the world.

17 thoughts on “Finding Humour In Tragedy

  1. 💜 Yup EveryOne, that’s why We Have Comedians; especially The Dark Humour Comedians who Express The Cosmic Joke


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am extremely impressed together wіth your writing skills as neatⅼy as
    with the format in your blog. Is this a paid topic or did you modify it your self?

    Anyway stay up the excellent quality writing, it
    is uncommon to look a nice weblog ⅼike this one nowadays..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know but when these things happen,ultimately everyone has to come out of this situation. That’s why they analyze and try to get out of that traumatic experience. I already said that this is not applicable to death or accident as these are the losses no one can ever forget and the loss of any life cannot be filled with anything in this world. Thanks for reading and commenting.


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