Feedback on Words that Hurt
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2002-03-14
We received some feedback on the last talk on words that hurt. Many found that teasing and joking definitely don't pass the tests. Good motive, but flawed method. How do we lighten things up otherwise? Watch a comedy, read a humorous book, play noncompetitive sports, walk in nature, watch the sunrise and sunset together, do something enjoyable like planting things, talk about something different and light, like cooking.
We got some early feedback already from our talk last phase on, "Words that hurt - Teasing and joking."
Every response so far says, "Well, you know, I put teasing and joking up to the four-fold test of 'is it true, kind, helpful and necessary?' and it did not pass." No one has said, "Well, my teasing and joking passed the test." No one has said that. Every response conforms to the idea that teasing and joking, gee, does not pass this test.
"But I tease and joke for a good reason. I am trying to make people laugh, trying to lighten the mood. Things always get heavy. There is not enough laughter in the world and so forth." The motive is good, right? But the method is flawed.
Not as a final list, but just to catalyse our thinking about it, getting it into motion, what are some alternatives to teasing and joking? In other words, we are trying to make things lighter. We are trying to make people laugh because things are too serious, somber, not fun enough, not jovial enough. What can we do?
Hire a professional. Watch a movie or TV show that is a comedy. A Steve Martin comedy, Eddie Murphy comedy. There are some wonderful comedies. Nobody will get hurt, right? Nobody gets hurt watching a TV show or a movie that is a comedy.
Read a humorous book. Yes, books still exist! There are some funny books that you can share with each other, read and have a great time.
Play non-competitive sports, that can be fun and lift the mood.
Take a walk in nature, enjoying a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Beautiful time of year here, both the sunrise and sunset are quite beautiful. Worth getting out there and walking around, enjoying together. It lightens the mood.
Do a different activity you both enjoy, such as planting new plants in the garden. That is always fun, if you have somewhat of a green thumb.
Discuss a different subject you both enjoy, such as certain kinds of cooking. Talk about something different.
So, those are just some thoughts to catalyze your own thinking about, "Gee, what can I do instead of teasing and joking around? How can I lighten the mood, lessen the seriousness, make people laugh, make us all feel more filled with fun and happiness?"
There are plenty of things to do and those are just a few suggestions. I am sure you can think of a lot more on your own.