Acting grown up is over rated. As a kid, I believed that it was a scam. Now that I am an old fart certifiable by my eligible for an AARP card I can say with certainty, I was right. Most of the grown up behavior norms are an expectations solemnity when serious is what is intended.
Being serious about what you do has little to do with being solemn. Find a way to love what you do. Even the stuff you hate like diabetes. We can be serious about diabetes care actions without making them into Stations of the Cross. In fact as our buddy Joe points out there is some mental health value in dethatching the emotion from the acts and having some fun with the negative feeling. Kick it up a notch and laugh at it.
Dare I evoke the wizardry of Harry Potter? Is there much I won’t do if dared? I am a guy and after all, a significant percentage of the stupid things done in history are ‘cause someone dared a male of the species.
Anyway how does a wizard deal with a boggart? The spell "Riddikulus" while thinking of something very funny. A dementor? A patronus. Positive repels negative.
I further cite the renowned philosopher John Cleese, yes that one, the python, from bit he published in the Wall Street Journal Editorial pages many moons ago when I was an old fart wannabe:
What does this have to do with diabetes, and more to the point Kerri’s misguided efforts at growing up? Everything. Humor helps us adapt to the changing challenges and feelings that go hand in hand with the fact that Your Diabetes May Vary. It is a beacon of ordinary human warmth and easy open communications. John Cleese says so, so it is true.
I'd feel distinctly nervous if I were advocating the use of humor in the managerial setting before the Central Committee of the East German Communist Party, to a convention of IRS accountants or, worse still, at a Nuremberg rally. There is a certain cast of mind that does not see the point of humor. Not everyone agrees that humor can improve creativity, help organizations adapt to change and help people learn from their mistakes. The trouble is, we sometimes confuse being serious with being solemn.
When humor is present we lose not seriousness, but only solemnity. And the value of solemnity is overrated because it often induces in people feelings of pomposity, rigidity and a corresponding loss of ordinary, human warmth and easy, open communication. Solemnity has the effect of encouraging people especially the most important ones to feel even more important than they normally do. And I seriously doubt whether anything that tends to increase the egotism of our political and business leaders is healthy.
I'd go further and suggest that a lot of solemnity is due to the fact that the egotistical kind of leader fears humor in all its forms, since he or she knows that any kind of humor threatens self-importance. And what the usefulness of self-importance is I've yet to discover.
The whole WJW letter is here until Dow Jones figures out it is a pirate job:
Keep being serious and shrug of solemn as a false goal.
Kerri didn’t you ride Peter Pan at Disney World?
(This started as a comment on Kerri’s Post but I went nuts. Go figure.)