It’s about staying light; about believing in hope, goodness, love, connection, and finally, finding humor.
What does it mean to stay light?
In the Mahabharata, Krishna advised Arjuna on the day of battle and after a terrible betrayal, to not let his heart get hard. A soft heart does not mean we’ll get run over. (Krishna did win in battle that day.) It means to keep believing in the good that you’re fighting for. No matter how dire the outlook.
Maintaining hope in the face of adversity,
means that you find what goodness there is in the situation; that you avoid the trap of going over and over the terrible things that happened, but rather that you mourn the tragic and look for the small and beautiful within the landscape of tragedy; the heroes and heroines, the saved lives, the things learned, the actions taken to recover and protect against the next bad thing that is inevitably on the horizon.
There is so much goodness to be had in a time of tragedy.
Whether it’s war, or famine, or acts of nature, or terrorism. ( the 21st Centuries kind of war) difficult situations tend to bring out the best in humanity; we rise to the occasion and deal with it, and in that, we find goodness all around us.
Our connection to others becomes obvious in crises.
In our everyday lives most of us move robotically, passing others on the street and barely acknowledging them, being too busy to phone a friend or family member. Contained within our self center, we’re disconnected from life swirling around us.
Not so in crises. By its very definition, crises means that the norm has been broken, and when it breaks, the bubble we’ve been walking around inside, breaks open and suddenly we see one another; reach out to help if help is needed, offer a hand, feel empathy, feel all kinds of emotions depending on the situation.
Humor is the life saver; the heart saver, the hope, love and connection saver.
Without humor we harden, and Krishna did warn against such a course. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel sad, or mad, or frightened, but what it does mean is we can and must lighten the situation to maintain our humanity. With humor we can return to light, hope, goodness, love, and connection. Like the flip of a switch, what was intolerable, unconscionable, unacceptable, inhuman, etc., etc., etc., shifts from a dark perspective to one with, at least a little, light.