Random Ramblings

Don’t Laugh At…

Posted on: September 9, 2008

Don’t laugh at me
Don’t call me names
Don’t get your pleasure from my pain
In God’s eyes we’re all the same
Someday we’ll all have perfect wings
Don’t laugh at me
Lyrics from “Don’t Laugh at Mesung by Mark Wills

How cruel can laughter be?  How many times have you laughed at something you knew was wrong?  Were you ever the geek with glasses or braces?  The fat, short or tall kid?  Have you ever been laughed at when you didn’t like it?  This song is a very powerful message on how people feel when they are laughed at for not being “normal” like other people.  Even though we can’t really say what “normal” is?  When this song came out it spoke to me because I have been on both ends of that laughter. 

I have been the kid who was fat, had braces, glasses and was taller than most of the class.  Let me tell you from experience that it is not fun to be laughed at because of something you have no control over!  Is it my fault that I had bad eyes or teeth?  Of course not, but that doesn’t mean the kids in my classes cared about that, they looked at my faults as weaknesses and played on them.  Let me tell you that this kind of teasing does so much to a little girl’s self-esteem that it’s not even funny.  How fair is it that a girl who is in second grade gets ridiculed for having “four eyes” instead of two  I absolutely hated my glasses for this reason and couldn’t wait to get rid of them.  Unfortunately it took until High School until I could get contacts, yes I still need the visual help but people don’t see the glasses first anymore.  These days glasses are much more of a fashion statement than they used to be, but due to the teasing I received I still hate wearing them!

I have also, I hate to admit, have been on the opposite end of the laughing as a laugher.  Back when I was younger I figured it was only fair that I should get to laugh at people because I had been laughed at.  I have memories of laughing at kids because of their weakness.  Some of it was partially due to peer pressure, everyone else was laughing and not laughing gave cause for you to be laughed at also.  No one wanted that so I gave in.  Now I know it’s wrong and I try to really think about things like that when I see other kids laughing at a classmate.  I make the choice not to laugh because the poor kid could just be an unlucky target and deep down is a truly awesome person.

I’m fat, I’m thin, I’m short, I’m tall
I’m deaf, I’m blind, hey, aren’t we all

As adults we sometimes revert back to the old ways of our youth and find a weakness in someone to laugh at.  I think it happens because we are insecure about ourselves and need to find something that tells us we are better than someone or a group of people.  A nice stroke to the ego always helps doesn’t it?  I’m here to tell you this line from the song says it all… don’t we all have what we feel is a short coming?  Don’t you wish you could lose a few pounds, wish you were taller or shorter etc.  Aren’t we really all just the same?  We are all part of the human race no matter if you are black, white, Russian or Asian.  It doesn’t matter!  People all over the world have the exact same problems and difficulties that you do.  No one is truly better than anyone else for at any moment what you think you have that is so much better can disappear in an instant.

I think it’s time we stop acting like children and when someone seems to be weaker than us, we need to step back and really take the time to look past whatever it is and see the greater truth.  Don’t you think all the people who laughed at Bill Gates as a child are kicking themselves now??  I know it’s a good idea to “think before you speak” but maybe “thinking before you act” is a good idea too!  Think on that!

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12 Responses to "Don’t Laugh At…"

How utterly true your message is!! I totally agree.

Steph, Thank you so much! I felt really good about this post! I felt like I got my message across instead of taking the scenic route and ending up somewhere totally different!!

It really comes down to putting ourselves in the other person’s place, something we forget to do from time to time (I know I’m not innocent either).

Years ago, I read 7 Habits and there is a story in there about Covey getting upset with the man on the bus who couldn’t control his kids. Turned out, they had just come from the hospital, where the mother had passed away. So the man was a distraught widower, and the kids were just acting out.

And then, a few years later, when we lost our daughter, I had to take the bus home as we had flown in to Hamilton via air ambulance. My wife was still in hospital.

Some early twenty-somethings got on the bus fairly early on in the journey (an 8-hour trip), and they were obviously drunk and very noisy. Rude. Crude, actually.

At one point, I shot a rather disapproving glance at one of them, and she asked me if I had a sense of humour.

I basically said, “you have no idea, you don’t know anything about life, little girl”.

I must have looked pretty grim, because everyone got really quiet…

We really need to put ourselves in others’ shoes more often.

-Brett

“Don’t laugh at me, don’t call me names, don’t get your pleasure from my pain.”

How true are those words in fact. You’re absolutely right Jen. Kids are just a little to cruel now a days. Those kids who are lucky enough to be born without visible imperfections are typically the ones that get the pleasure from picking on others. Little do they know that they’re just hurting themselves by outcasting others. Although some may disagree with this statement, I’m going to say it anyway. It stems from the parents and their upbringing. If a child doesn’t have discipline, boundaries, humility, Love and plethora of other things, that’s the kind of results that are expected. Let’s teach our children the meaning of life, love and humility. A little goes a long way!

It’s true – people can be mean – I suffered from this when I was a kid, too. What I’ve learned over time 1) people “attack” others in defense of their own insecurities and 2) As adults under stress, we often revert back to our least developed self. If made fun of as a child and never worked through it, the tendency is to display the same defenses used as a child when being “attacked” as adult.

We are all unique in our own special ways. Sometime being “different” can be difficult, especially when others make fun of you. That this happens to kids is bad enough. That is happens as adults – when we should know better. Is just wrong. Do we do it to feel better about ourselves and our own insecurities? Do we do it just to feel “bigger” than the other person? No one likes being made fun of. Being laughed at. Thanks for the reminder Jenny…sometimes I think we do it and don’t even realize that it’s happening. The more we can keep this in the front of our conscience, the more likely we are to think before we act. Again, thanks for bringing this back to the forefront.

@Brett – that is such a sad story, but it does illustrate how people don’t know other people’s stories and shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. That must have been an awful bus ride, but maybe the young adults learned an important lesson.

@Erick – I totally agree that a lot of kids behavior has to do with their upbringing. It’s up to us as adults to set an example for the younger generation, sometimes we laugh at people’s downfalls without even realizing it.

@Stacey – I couldn’t agree with you more. Most of those who were laughing were probably trying to hide something about themselves! As adults Stress is a big factor in our reactions to things, it definitely deters the right reaction sometimes!

Thank you for stopping by!

@Lance – Being different is difficult but it’s also what makes the world tick! We should know better. I’m glad I could shed a little light on it and maybe this message will teach one person to not laugh.

I keep meaning to find the Christine Kane version of this song to give to you every time I come over here to leave as a comment and I get distracted. So…if you go to her web site and look for it she does an awesome version of it. Kleenex alert though. I played it for my kids and they were sniffing. Seriously.

Aww – this post was perfect. 🙂

As that kid in high school who was short, scrawny, with bad hair, had acne and happened to also be gay…I suffered my fair share of torment. I also had my fair share of tormenting others without question because of my own lack of self-esteem. Thankfully part of my growing up process was realizing that bringing others down just brought me down even further in the long run. We’re all amazing people underneath our bad hair, our glasses, our acne…We’re all talented human beings with so much more to give regardless of our sexualities, our weight or who are friends happen to be. And I also know that now as adults, many of us have changed into incredible people who are finally confident with who they are.

🙂

Great post.

Your message is great! It is a good reminder that we should also practice compassion for others. Laughing at others may appear to give us power, that we are one up. But who are we really kidding? As Stacey pointed out, we could be hiding a part of ourselves. It’s far better to learn to laugh at ourselves.

I think that this type of behavior is like a virus, even as you mentioned here — kids laugh at you, then you turn around and laugh at someone else. Paying forward negativity… Sad, but it happens all the time. It takes a brave kid to stop the vicious cycle.

@Wendi – I will definitely have to look up that song! I am curious to hear it and I love when a song is powerful enough to make you cry!

@Gen – Thanks! It’s nice to see you here and THANKS for commenting! Funny I don’t remember you that way! You were always cool and fun to hang around, especially when you were a troll!!

@Eveyln – I am so glad I learned to laugh at myself years ago! Besides I do lots of funny things! Thanks for dropping by!

@Melissa – It is paying forward negativity, I never thought of that. maybe someday we can get it to go away! We need to give all kids courage to be who they are and not bow to society. Thanks for the comment!

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