How can I be funny without being mean?
Being funny is awesome. I should know. We all love to laugh, usually the more the better. Laughing is healing, bonding and ensures the survival of every middle school teacher. God created us to laugh, to make others laugh and to see the humor in life. However, with every thing created for good we have the ability to use it for evil. Humor is supposed to heal hurts but sometimes our attempts at humor just hurt more. Most of us have been either the author of a mean joke or the recipient of a joke about us. It hurts, a lot. I know way too well how much it can hurt.
Especially in middle school and high school I was funny, really funny. However, my version of funny was also incredibly hurtful. All of the “jokes” I made where always about someone else and caused all kinds of destruction. I made people laugh, and that made me feel good about myself. It took me too many years to realize the power that I had in my words. By making fun of people I was not only hurting them but I was also hurting myself. Every time I made fun of someone I was allowing more hurt to come into my own life. We are created to heal and create beauty, not to hurt and create destruction. It is very possible to be funny without wounding others in the process. God is funny! He laughs, so we can do it in a way that still honors Him. Life is funny! Laugh at life, not at other people. Some people can handle teasing and others can’t. Until you know for sure what someone can handle, do not tease that person. Be quick to apologize when you do say something that was hurtful, even if you didn’t intend to. Do not try and explain or justify your joke, just say sorry. If someone did something that was funny, like fall down the stairs, make sure that everything you say about that person would be OK to say in front of him. Most importantly, remember that what you say is very, VERY powerful. You have the ability to bring joy or pain. Bring joy. It’s always funny.
Do teachers actually expect me to focus when it’s nice outside?
Yes. Sorry, but yes, we do. Sunshine rocks, especially after the grey season known as winter. It is really challenging to focus on algebra when Mr. Golden (that’s what I call the sun) is calling your name. Sadly, there is not an easy way to make yourself focus on what your teacher keeps blabbing about when it’s nice outside. However, let’s be honest—some of you could get distracted in a cardboard box. The reality is that even when it’s nice outside, you still have to learn stuff and pass your classes. It’s called school and it’s rather important. You have to just discipline yourself to focus on class and ignore Mr. Golden. His feelings won’t be hurt, I promise (I asked him). The days are getting longer and longer so the sun will still be shining at 3:20. You will be able to enjoy it just after your classes. So, until someone invents a solar power converter that changes sun rays into rays of knowledge that teach you how to divide fractions, listening to the teacher is what you need to do. Thanks for being here, Mr. Golden.