Jokes add light to difficult areas. They are, also, humorous revelations of our own fragility and clumsiness. Let`s face it, failure happens to all of us. We’re always shooting at moving targets, and we miss a lot. Jokes are lubricants that get us over the rough spots, with a minimum of damage. To get better at hitting the mark, a good attitude is a requisite. Jokes ease our attitudes.
Here`s a little Catholic joke…
The newcomer is very pleased with what he sees, but he is intrigued by a very high wall which seems to divide heaven in two.
He asks Peter, “Is hell beyond that wall?”
Peter smiles and says “No, no, beyond that wall are the Catholics, they believe they are the only ones here and we do not want to disappoint them.”
The body of that joke centers on the rendition of heaven as a place.
I believe there are many doors to heaven. Further I do not believe heaven is a place where everyone is automatically living in luxury and glory, but rather where he or she will exist in a state of revealed and self-developed happiness. A state of being that a person has developed, regardless of their religious preferences, here in their own earthly journey.
I know I live in a place now, and I could be in a place in my next life, but the me that is here and in the next life, is still going to be me. And the me that will be with God, must be worthy of being in his presence. So my job here is to make myself ready. To wash my soiled garments, put a smile on my face, help my brothers and sisters, whomever they might be, to get ready, and to make myself as presentable as possible.
I do not believe there will be any walls there. I, rather believe, that the state of my happiness, in many ways, will be dependent on the state of my own developed attitude. An attitude that I was allowed to develop in the here and the now, when I was given the gift of life. Developed, as a sword is tempered through fire. Developed, as a child is led through a school of revelations. As a child who trusts his father and mother. For me, the Lord’s Prayer sums it all up in protocol and process.
Here`s a rough joke that lays truth on the line.
An old Italian man in Brooklyn is dying. He calls his grandson to his bedside, “Guido, I wanna you lissin-a to me. I wanna you to take my chrome plated 38 caliber revolver so you will always remember me.”
“But grandpa, I really don’t like guns. How about you leave your Rolex watch instead?”
“You lissin-a me boy! Somma day you gonna be runna da business, you gonna have a beautiful wife, lotsa money, a big-a home and maybe a couple of bambinos.”
Somma day you gonna comm-a home and maybe find you wife inna bed with another man. Whatta you gonns do then? Point`a at you watch and say, Times up?”
Jokes aren’t always pretty, but they contain lessons. Neither is life. and it has lots of lessons. Jokes get right to the heart of life. Our hearts are what we show to God what we have made of ourselves. In a sense, they are like diamonds. Great diamonds have many attractive facets. Most have flaws, too. The more attractive the facets, the more the sparkle. The better the cut, the less the abundance of flaws.
Faceting diamonds involves a lot of cutting and trimming to get an ugly rock transformed into a radiant gem. Each rock is different and has its own individual ultimate best shape. The skilled cutter knows where and how to apply his cutting and shaping skills. We are all rough carbon rocks when we get here. We need to be cut and shaped in order for our beauty to emerge. It is not an easy process. It takes time. If someone was cutting and shaping me, I would feel the pain, obviously an inanimate rock feels no pain, but you can imagine what it would be like if it could.
It certainly would, if it could, struggle to avoid all the pain. Well it can’t, but we can. And in the process of avoidance wind up not being shaped and faceted into becoming all that we could be. In a sense, the cutter is to the rock, what a father is to his child. The main difference is that a father cannot physically alter the behavioral patterns of the child. He must, instead, show the child the best way to shape his or her behavior. Mostly by example and guidance.
Those examples and that guidance can be most effective when the attitude of the child is positive. The essence of positivity is trust, optimism, truth seeking, and belief. When the attitude of the child is negative, fear becomes a most likely attitude. Here`s a little joke that brings this out.
A psychiatrist was consulted by parents of identical twins. Their parents were concerned because they seemed to have completely different attitudes. To better understand their concern he placed each twin in separate, observable, rooms. The pessimist was placed in a room filled with wonderful toys. The optimist was given a shovel and placed in a room filled with horse manure. Their reactions were then observed and recorded through a see through, one way mirror in each room.
The pessimist slouched in a chair and began to cry. He didn’t even unwrap the toys. “What`s the use?” he asked glumly. “I probably won’t like what I find, and even if I do. It will only get broken, anyway.”
In the other room, with a broad grin on his face, the optimist was shoveling the manure for all he was worth. “With all this horse manure,” he declared, “there`s got to be a pony in here somewhere.”
Finding the pony becomes the operative attitude that allows the heart to grow. In its growth it becomes stronger, wiser, and appreciative. Its strengthening brings a return of joy. A joy that can began to fill the void in one`s heart that comes through the pain of loss. It becomes a starting point for the rebuilding of memories. In the previous joke, the manure becomes the material evidence that the pony can be found. Memories, likewise, are evidence that what has been lost still exists. Memories are still with us, and they too, have restorative value. Farmers build up stores of manure to restore nutrients in their soil, so they can grow new crops. The manure analogy may not be pretty, but it is useful in illustrating one element of the process of attitude restoration.
Jokes are truth, simplified. Whenever you hear a joke, listen and learn. It can help you find who you really are.