I just happened to have this topic on my list for today. Go figure. It will work out well, for I have a dark sense of humor, and my responses to today will not be the same as most others’.
I have never had trouble laughing during serious times. I can crack jokes and play pranks during a funeral. I’ve joked around in the hospital waiting room while my children are in surgery. While I have had my share of struggles with depression in my life, I often have trouble maintaining a serious demeanor when everybody else is upset and crying. I will laugh at jokes that are in poor taste (and sometimes make them). I prefer wakes to funerals. While I’ve done my share of being glued to the news during tragic events, these days I prefer to shut it off and find something more entertaining.
Darkness and tragedy are a part of life. They are unavoidable. There is always conflict, there is always danger. There will always be evil out there. Life is never perfectly safe, perfectly light and happy. I accept this balance. I feel that I cannot accept all of life without accepting its dark side. To do otherwise is to set myself up for constant pain and suffering that is not necessary, as I bemoan the inevitable duality of the wheel of life. To refuse to accept that darkness exists would be to belittle the beauty of the light, to say that it is not beautiful enough because it is not pure enough.
For the light is there. It is always there. Whenever one life dies, another is born. For every day there is a tragedy, there are hundreds and hundreds of days without. For every pain, there is joy. For every weakness, there is strength. And the light grows. It grows all the time. Every day, every year, there are fewer deaths, less pain, less conflict, less crime. We think there is more when we leave our televisions tuned to 24-hour channels that exist to search for tragedy and violence and never report on anything else, but when you look at the numbers, things are getting better, not worse. The light is there, and it grows. And I would rather celebrate the light than mourn the dark. So I would rather celebrate a life at a wake than mourn it at a funeral. I would rather crack jokes about a disability than cry that I have one. I would rather make fun of racists than give them power over my speech.
Those who cause darkness want that power. Bullies, tyrants, terrorists…actually, they’re all bullies, when you get down to it. The evil people of the world want pain, they want sadness. They want to control their victims, to change the way their victims live and think. They want power, they want respect. I can’t control their actions, although I can try to limit the scope. I can, however, control my response. I don’t have to be upset. I don’t have to be sad. I don’t have to change the way I live out of fear. I don’t have to freeze like a deer in the headlights, waiting for the bully’s next move. I can laugh, I can dance, I can show that they do not have that power over me, that control of my self that is their true goal and desire.
I will not apologize for my dark humor. And I’m not going to worry about it anymore. I don’t mock people when they are down. I don’t try to cut people, to hurt them, to bring them down. I simple don’t try to deny the humor in situations when I see it, even when the setting is serious. I’m not going to censor myself anymore, I’m not going to let the stress over what other people think bring me down, I’m not going to allow my thoughts and emotions to be controlled by others.
And so my response to today is to rejoice that such events are so incredibly rare in my part of the world, that I am more likely to die of a lightning strike than by directly affected by something like that. And I’m going to continue to laugh at the absurdity of blowing up endurance runners, because they the ones who are the most capable of running down and catching the culprit. I am not going to give any more sadness and sorrow to those who so greatly desire my pain, and I am not going to give any more of my freedom to those who so greatly desire to take it away.
Because I do have a dark sense of humor. It is part of me.