My Pumpkin Is Underwater
Happy Halloween everyone!! This is one of my favorite times of the year, but unfortunately the joy is marred this time around due to Hurricane Sandy and the destruction and deaths it has caused. Relief funds are being created and help is being sent as mother nature tears through neighborhoods with reckless abandon. As of this morning, 55 people along the Atlantic coast are dead and over seven million are still without power. Homes and the valuables contained within are destroyed. NYU Langone Medical Center was forced to evacuate about 2o0 patients. People are in shock, are devastated, and trying their best to cope.
In the spirit of laughter being the best medicine, many people have taken to Twitter and other social media outlets to try to inject some humor into a grim situation. Naturally, not everyone finds reason to laugh and many think that the jokes are inappropriate, insensitive, and almost vulgar in nature. With the exception of those wishing death on the cast of Jersey Shore and other evil comments, I disagree with those who find fault in the jokes. I’m grateful that people are going out there and throwing out a smile amidst all the frowns.
Excluding the few comments which are obviously meant maliciously, there is no harm meant and no harm coming from these clever quips about the hurricane. They are not coming from people who are happy to see people lose their homes and see their loved ones harmed or killed. They are not laughing in the face of the victims left in the wake of the storm. They are simply understanding that people’s spirits are low right now and they could definitely use a pick me up. They are reminding us that there is no shame in being happy when others are suffering.
Instead of embracing the humor, donating what we can, and having a Happy Halloween, people are complaining and becoming overly offended by these silly remarks. They are failing to see that these funny one liners are giving us permission to laugh and to not feel guilty about not being affected by the hurricane. If we donate money to the relief fund with our spirits in the sand or donate with a big smile on our face, does the money get spent any differently? Nothing is accomplished by being somber and acting depressed; positivity is a fantastic motivator and should definitely be used here and in other tough situations.
Laughter itself is not disrespectful. When we laugh at a humorous comment on Twitter, we are not actually saying “I’m so glad the hurricane ripped through homes and killed innocents!” It takes a sick and twisted individual to find joy in destruction and death, and that is not what society is composed of for the most part. We care, but we are constantly buried by tragic news and it tends to desensitize us a bit. We should allow laughter to be the cure rather than trying to make it yet another problem.
Enjoy your Halloween parties, your trick or treating, and your festivities guilt free. Appreciate the humor from celebrities and celebriwannabes without feeling insensitive. One of the worst things we can do while trying to boost morale and help those in need is become fearful of laughter and to begin shying away from joy. A good mood can carry a person a long way, and the last thing anyone affected by Sandy needs right now is a bunch of people moping around, afraid of saying the wrong thing, and consequently afraid to act.