Malaysians, it's your patriotic duty to laugh

JANUARY 25 — In this troubling economic climate and with the even more troubling state of foreign affairs, you would think laughter wouldn't be a priority.

Now, more than ever, we need to find reason to laugh. Laugh not just at situations, but at people.

Because, my friends, there's only so far anger can take us. I know many of you are angry while also feeling helpless and disempowered.

It's easy enough to be angry when you see massive wastages in public spending, while cuts are made in vital areas such as education and healthcare.

Easy enough to be enraged that our representatives are getting pay rises while salaries remain stagnant and have been so, for years.

There are so many things to be angry about that a lot of people have just decided to stop feeling. To stop caring. To say things such as "nothing is going to change anyway, so why try?"

I get it. It's tiring to care. Tiring to strive with nothing more to go on besides hope, maybe a little faith and some dreaming.

That is why it's time to laugh. Laugh at the audacity of life, the audacity of caring or believing in something bigger than yourself.

In the end, nobody should be taking themselves seriously. In the larger scheme of things, we are but tiny pieces of a bigger puzzle. Most of us are destined to be just dust interspersed with the footnotes of history.

There is, however, a big difference between taking what we do seriously and ourselves seriously. We need to find levity, the lightness in our being that makes life worth sticking around for.

Instead of being angry at our leaders, maybe it's time to laugh. Laugh at their presumption that they will not be held accountable. Laugh at their embarassing pronouncements. Laugh at the ongoing circus that is, unfortunately, current affairs in Malaysia.

This is the time for mockery. The time for satire. People assume that those who make trade in laughter and comedy are exceptionally cheerful people. That is actually not true — because while they trade in laughter, many of them can come across as pretty serious people in real life.

Because, the funniest things are funny not because they entertain but because they hold elements of truth.

So laugh. Laugh despite the darkness. Laugh, to stave off the darkness.  Laugh because you must. Laugh, rather than rail at the darkness.

Because laughing at the way things are is a sure better alternative to crying. And believe you me, I'd rather laugh.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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