I drove down the city streets yesterday and on my right I saw an anti-vaccine protest, on my left I saw a protest for saving the old growth forest.
As I drove further I saw rows of tent’s in the park where the homeless live, there are people on the corners in bus stops dancing high on drugs like no one is watching. This is the reality that we live in now in the city. I wake up every morning to news of inequality, wars, flooding, fires, the looming possibility of alien invasions. It makes it hard to be happy amidst all of the chaos and destruction but we must find a way to smile despite what is going on in the world around us.
Happiness is one of the Dene Laws, and as Indigenous peoples we know a thing or two about humour. We tend to make fun of ourselves and each other. I’ve been following a few TikTok stars who are natural comedians, people like @indigenous_baddie and @brettstoise who give me a chuckle to break up the day’s stressful routine. There are moments in life that bring small gifts of joy and if we try and keep a lighthearted attitude we can find humour in even the hardest times.
There are also memories that I look back on and laugh about like the time my mom came to the swimming pool with us and my son talked her into going down the cannonball waterslide without her knowing that she would come flying out at the other end, she was stiff as a board scared and looked like she was flying on her back as she skidded over the water like a skipping rock, even the lifeguard laughed.
Or the time right after my daughter got brand new glasses only to walk into a door, or the time my auntie choked on a chicken bone and it came flying out of her mouth across the room, or the time my mom broke her tooth on a caribou rib, I can go on and on but its just to say that these are the things we can hold onto when we are having a hard day or when the world just gets to be too much.
Laughing with and at our relatives in good fun is what makes stories for years to come. It’s interesting how humour is often found at the expense of another’s embarrassment or in an ironic incident but if you can get up and dust yourself off and not take yourself too seriously then the world will be much better.
So just remember next time you are taking yourself too seriously that laughter is the good medicine that we all need right now.