Recently, I saw a quote from someone that was something like life is too short for you to be serious.
Phhhfffttt. Are you kidding me?
This just gets under my skin.
Perhaps it would anyway, or perhaps a little more so than usual because I myself have been feeling rather serious these days. Either way, I really wanted to yell back that life is too short to be anything other than what you need to be; serious or otherwise.
I didn’t though, because it was the internet. Not that this fact necessarily has to stop me.
But really, what the heck is the matter with being serious? And really, why in the world do we think that being serious is somehow a waste of time?
Where would we be, after all, without serious people? They’re the ones who do the deep thinking. They’re the ones who get the work done.
I like serious people. I am a serious person.
But here’s my other beef with this.
I think we all need to be serious sometimes. Just like sometimes we need to be lighthearted and decidedly unserious. We all need to experience the full range of what we need to as humans and we need to be able to express it. To feel ok expressing it.
I once worked with this woman. Every day she’d practically bounce into the office and nearly every day she’d call out as she entered, “Hello my happy people!”
This didn’t make me feel uplifted. It didn’t make me comforted to be in her presence. In fact, it made me feel more awful when I felt awful.
And you know what else? It didn’t convince me one bit that that was who she was. It always felt fake. Forced. It made me suspicious of her.
Of course, I’m not saying that there aren’t people out there who are genuinely lighthearted. And I’m also not saying that sometimes - especially for a serious person - that it’s not a comfort to be around these people. Because it is…sometimes.
I guess what I’m saying is that the notion of seriousness or anything less than happy-go-lucky being a waste of time leads us to feel like we need to pretend, which does us no favors. I much prefer for someone to be whatever they are and to know that I can do the same.
It’s a relief when we can just be honest about it.
Especially right now.
It’s a very serious time. There are lots of serious things happening. If a person isn’t feeling this seriousness at least some of the time, it makes me wonder if they’re actually paying attention. And I think life is also too short not to pay attention.
I mean yes, take a break from it if you need to - if you can - but my goodness, pay attention. Take things seriously.
Because what I want to know is how will things get better if we don’t?