The way to make today’s problems, even the really vexing and painful ones, seem less severe? Simple – all you have to do is:

“Sit back and laugh.” When you zone out far enough, almost everything becomes absurd.

Think about it: We are monkeys living on a space rock. We are a split second of the infinity of existence. If humanity survives long enough, people will laugh at us the way we laugh at Neanderthals. People used to have serious arguments about how many angels could fit on the head of a pin or whether the world was flat. They not only thought kings were a good idea, they thought they had divine right!

What do you think they’re going to think about the arguments we have today? Or even our cutting edge science?

Even WW1 is funny with enough distance. One archduke was assassinated and the entire world went to war over it. For basically no reason. And then, even after millions of people died, everyone was so stupid that they immediately forgot the lessons of the war and had to fight it again a generation later!

The troubles you’re having at work will be ridiculous to you three jobs from now. Think about all the things you cared about when you were a teenager and how silly they seem to you today – now consider that this exact evolution will happen to you at middle age, and again in old age if you are lucky enough to live that long.

Think about something that’s really frustrating you about your neighbour or your parents. Now imagine telling a person in Syria or North Korea about it. Your neighbour doesn’t mow his front lawn or trim his bushes? Your dad forgot about your daughter’s dance recital? They would think you were joking! You’re seriously telling me that’s what’s on your mind? That’s what bothers you? You’re hilarious!

Sit back and laugh. It’s freeing. It’s a relief.

By Brian Nadon

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