Have you acted like a fool of late? Or in your distant past? Do you remember those acts and do you laugh at them? Can you laugh at yourself?
Ability to laugh at oneself is a boon and an agreeable characteristic trait. You laugh at your follies, others won’t have a chance to laugh at you.
I don’t want to be overtly preachy here, just wanted to share few incidents where I felt like a fool, nudged my head for a second then, thinking “Gosh! What I have done?
- Tryst with French: It’s been over seven years here in Belgium but my French isn’t perfect yet. But now I can manage many things using that language for communication. But remembering how I used to fare initially still leaves me in splits. Wrong punctuation can be fatal. Before every conversation with any stranger I used to say ” Je parle anglais” which in English says ” I speak English” but what I actually wanted to ask was ” Do you speak English?” Which should actually go like this in French : ” Vous parlez anglais? So basically I replaced “you” with “I” and the expression was of a question mark instead of a full stop. Which means my expression was like “Je parle anglais? As if asking myself if I can speak English. Such a blunder I tell you. But irony is no one corrected it as they took it in face value as a statement of my confirmation that I speak English 😁.
- Too friendly/ overtly eager to help: Two days back I had some work in our commune office. As I was walking towards the office I saw a couple with their baby in a pram near the office. I just passed them and within a second turned back and told them “you can take pram from the other door and can use lift instead of carrying it on the stairs” because I thought they didn’t knew that. They gave me a blank look as at first place they had no intention of entering the town hall and at second place they were wondering who is this woman uttering nonsense (believe me they had that look😂). Sometimes trying to play good Samaritan without being asked can make us stand like a fool.
- Feeling too excited because of nationality: When you are in a foreign land faces from your land, for that matter everything associated (even seemingly or remotely) with your mother land gives a sense of belonging. For example I get excited seeing a “made in India” tag on any cloth or accessory here in Belgium, any restaurant serving Indian cuisine, even if any random name sounds or smells of indian-ness catches my attention ( can’t help it). So it was in the year 2013 I guess, I was on tram back to home, saw few Indians on-board and in inexplicable excitement waved my hands at them as I know them. How silly of me! There was no reaction from that end. Felt like a fool. What at first place prompted me to do such an action still a question for me. That was just one such incident and that’s not my general way of reacting to see fellow Indians (you got to trust me, I am perfectly sane😁)
These are few incidents from my life that I wanted to share with you all and have a good laugh (you can join the party and I won’t mind that). It happens with all of us – pushing doors which clearly says “pull”; tripping off on a perfectly plain surface while walking that too bare feet; slipping off embarrassing words at wrong time with no wrong intention whatsoever.
Crux of the issue is being able to laugh and amused by own silliness. Our silliness is not a weakness in itself until taken too seriously lest it becomes a weapon for others to tease us.