Life Can Kill Us…But Sometimes We Must Laugh

11102527223_57f282fd7dLast year I was on holiday in Malta with two friends. We were on the bus home from one of our days out. It was an open top bus, and lovely weather, so we sat on top at the front.

Now, two days before, I’d got out the bus on another trip, and tripped over the curb, landing flat on my face. So we were, in light of this, having a chat about my clumsiness.

I was trying to argue this event was a one off, and I wasn’t clumsy. My friends insisted I was. It was all in jest of course, but nevertheless I was adamant I wasn’t clumsy. I was moving to the edge of my chair, making my point strongly and articulately. I was right in the middle of making my argument, when the bus ran over a huge bump in the road.

I fell forward, straight onto the floor of the bus, head into the lap of my friend.

And we all started laughing. Me possibly hardest of all.

Because if you can’t laugh, then you’ll never be able to deal with life. If you take life seriously all the time, you’ll be crushed.

Life can suck at times. Genuinely. Sickness. Abuse. Death. Injustice. Life can be painful, unjust and overwhelming. And it’s not funny. Not at all. And I’d never say laugh at those circumstances. We need to take those situations seriously.

I’ve lost a loved one. I’ve got a medical condition which means I might have a seizure and if I’m not lucky, die. Only last month, I did have a seizure, in the middle of the road, and on another day, I could have been killed.

And of course, none of this is funny.

But there times, appropriately, where you simply have to laugh. I need to laugh at my epilepsy sometimes – because after I’ve taken all the precautions I can, there’s nothing else I can do. And if I dwell on the potential of what could happen, it will overwhelm me. So I don’t. I have learned to laugh.

Right now I am suffering back spasms so painful I can barely move. I’m moving like an 80 year old. And at times I’ve almost wanted to cry it’s so painful. But I actually found myself laughing. Because even thought it’s painful, sometimes you just have to laugh. Because me walking like an old man? Well, it’s kinda funny.

My Mum suffered from a lack of short term memory, caused by asthma. But she never let it get her down.She learned not to take life too seriously. To just laugh at the fact she’d forgotten she had put her glasses on her head so had put on another pair of glasses. Or left her drink in the toilet.

FInding A Balance

Mum 2Of course, we should never use humour as a way of hiding from pain. Of burying our heads in the sand. This is almost as bad, if not worse, as not laughing at all.

We must find a balance. To paraphrase scripture, there is a time to mourn, a time to grieve. There is a time when we need to pray for others, to support them, to take their suffering seriously. And to take our own issues and circumstances seriously.

But there is always a time to laugh.

We need to know when to take life seriously, and when it’s time to laugh. (you can tweet that)

I’ll always miss my Mum. Right after she died I was struggling with grief, as you’d expect. And one way we processed this grief, and I still do, is to think about all the funny stories about her. All the times she forgot things, or got lost. And it’s not like those things were nice, or easy.

But because, in hindsight, they’re funny.

They remind me of her. It’s these quirky little things, these mistakes and struggles, which made her who she was.

So let us choose to have a healthy approach to life. To learn when we need to take life seriously, and when we need to laugh.

As it’s when we know when we should laugh, and when we should’t, we have life in it’s proper perspective.


Do you agree or disagree with me? Why/Why not?

Have you learned to laugh at life?

How can you learn the balance between when to laugh and when not to?

Let me know in the comments below!



(Photo Credit: Dustin J McClure via Compfight cc)



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  1. lisajey on January 27, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I always say “If you don’t laugh, you might cry” lol — great post klutzy-mcklutzlestein… lol

  2. Maria Savva on January 27, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Haha! Sod’s law that you would have fallen off the bus seat at that moment 🙂 I agree with you, James. Laughter/humour is something that brings people together.

    • James Prescott on January 27, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks Maria – yes, that was a funny moment for sure. Totally agree with you, and thanks for commenting.

  3. Luann Robinson Hull on January 27, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    I love your attitude! And I agree… you’ve got to laugh in life! It’s essential!

    • James Prescott on January 27, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Thanks Luann, glad you agree! Thanks for commenting.

  4. Ms. Cheevious on January 27, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    you don’t have to tell me twice to laugh… I love it, and I’m known for being a laughable, fun person… did I mention FUN? LOL… Sounds like you had a fun trip too… great post! And believe me… I KNOW when to take life seriously… I just may not let on…

    • James Prescott on January 27, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      I never doubted you loved to laugh for a second Ms.Cheevious…especially with a name like that! 🙂

  5. Diane on January 27, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Definitely with you on the “So let us choose to have a healthy approach to life. To learn when we need to take life seriously, and when we need to laugh.” As serious and introspective as I can be, big ol’ belly laughs are a regular staple to my daily diet. Enjoyed the post, James.

    • James Prescott on January 27, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      Absolutely Diane – glad the post resonated with you. Thanks for the encouragement and for commenting.

  6. Mandy on January 27, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Great attitude (and post) James! I think laughing is the only option, particularly where situations outside of our control are concerned. I know from my own health issues that once I laughed at its impact it stopped being the elephant in the room. Hope your back soon improves.

    • James Prescott on January 28, 2014 at 7:42 am

      Thanks Mandy, appreciate all the kind words and best wishes. And absolutely, sometimes laughing is the only option. Thanks for commenting!

  7. Tara Fairfield on January 28, 2014 at 1:01 am

    You are so wise. In our weakness is His strength, and we all have ’em! Thanks for your courage to be vulnerable so we can all learn.

    • James Prescott on January 28, 2014 at 7:41 am

      Wow, thanks Tara, really humbling and encouraging words. Glad the post resonated with you.

  8. Kathleen Caron on January 28, 2014 at 1:21 am

    Oh, do I laugh at life. Not to stuff down sadness, as you said. But to remember that life is short, and in spite of everything, meant to be joyful. We were designed for joy and I think God loves it when we laugh.

    • James Prescott on January 28, 2014 at 7:40 am

      Absolutely Kathleen, completely agree. Great comment, thanks for sharing!

  9. Sharon Jordan on January 28, 2014 at 5:45 am

    I absolutely agree. I love to make my family laugh!

  10. Deanne Michelle Welsh on February 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    My husband is the best at this – laughing and making me laugh. For me it sometimes takes more effort because I tend to be more reflective/introspective by nature. My husband’s humor, goofiness and his laugh are some of the things I appreciate most about him.

    • James Prescott on February 12, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      That sounds wonderful Deanne. I’m a reflective/introspective person too, but also somehow manage to make others laugh (unintentionally!). Thanks for sharing Deanne.

  11. Joy Lenton on February 12, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    James, I so needed to read this. Yes, I chuckled over your falls (as you invited us to) but I also nodded my head in recognition of the need for discernment in knowing when to take life seriously and when to lighten up a bit. We all need a reminder of this from time to time. Especially naturally deep, reflective types like me!

    Just lately life’s pains and challenges have drained energy and vitality and my spirit has felt leaden and heavy. Not exactly ‘Joy-like’. Now I feel I can give myself permission to enjoy life in spite of the problems persisting. Just in time for an imminent visit from our family. I mean to enjoy our baby grandson to the full! Thank you, friend. PS:Hope your back improves soon and you can stop feeling like I do! 🙂

    • James Prescott on February 12, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Hey Joy, thanks for your comment. Glad you laughed at the story – it wasn’t the only funny story on that holiday! Back is a lot better thanks, and really feeling a lot better overall.

      Will be praying things improve your end too, keep persevering, and looking for joy. Thanks for sharing so wisely and honestly, good to see you back here!

  12. Melinda Todd on February 26, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    So true! When I find I am having a really bad day, I go to youtube and look up funny videos. Humor is a divine gift. It can change our outlook almost instantly. If we don’t laugh, we might go insane 🙂

    • James Prescott on April 20, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      Hey Melinda, sorry for taking time to reply. So glad the post resonated. Have a great day.

  13. Christa Sterken on April 20, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Totally agree James, Laughter has been the saving piece when life is falling apart. Great post

    • James Prescott on April 20, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      Thanks Christa for your kind comment, really appreciate it. Glad you agree.

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