Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yoga Dose

"If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide."
- Mahatma Gandhi

Author's Note:
If you have been following this blog, you will have noticed that I normally refrain from commenting on "Yoga Doses". My intention is to allow you, the reader, to draw your own conclusions and I already stated here that the idea is to think positively.  
That said, considering the wild charge of the aforementioned quote by Gandhi, I feel the need to put this quote into a healing context.    
The first time I heard this quote, I was struck by two things.
#1: Gandhi talked of committing suicide?! (Interesting, right?)
#2: Gandhi mentions humor and suicide in the same sentence?! To me, that probably means he (obviously) must have talked himself out of suicide and not only that, but he could even make it sound funny that he did so. (Brilliant, right?)
The more I have thought about those things, the more this quote holds meaning for me.   
Mahatma Gandhi, empowering leader of the powerless, witness of some of the worst evils mankind is capable of committing, committed seeker and speaker of truth (even of the unspeakable kind), and steadfast ambassador of values of non-violence, still managed to have hope and laugh, even in the face of direly trying times and the dangers posed (and even carried out) on his own life.
For these reasons, I actually find this quote to be absurdly funny.  In just a few words, Gandhi manages to ENLIGHTEN us with the idea that the sometimes (seemingly) hopeless human condition can be alleviated by just recognizing how absurd it can be if you take a step back and try to look at it from a positive angle (through humor). In other words, Gandhi was saying, "LIGHTEN UP MAN." 
In fact, the central idea that I think he is trying to convey is that humor is healing. For more on the healing and hidden power of humor, click here.
It sort of makes me laugh in the same way a very funny friend of mine made me laugh recently when I told her that she should pursue stand up comedy. Her reply was, "It sounds good, but comedians are notoriously depressed." 

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