To my young change makers, Time to take sense of humour seriously!

To my young change makers,

Time to take sense of humour seriously!

People working in the social sector, IMG-20190316-WA0006especially those whose lives are dedicated to social change around extremely challenging issues often tend to become very serious people. Their sense of humour fades away every single day while addressing these challenging issues.

The general understanding among many social activists is that if you wish to work on social change, you have to remain ‘serious’ because you are addressing serious issues. However, there is a difference between working seriously on serious issues and remaining serious in your life, just because you are a change maker!

Often when I meet people for the first time, I leave an impression on these people as if I am a ‘non-serious’ person who does not have any ‘serious’ commitment of working on social issues. This is because I really work hard to make sure that I don’t let my sense of humour fade away. I don’t introduce myself as a ‘serious’ person. Actually, there is no rule that you can’t be funny and can not laugh while being 100% committed to social change. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mandela lead some of the most significant social movements in our history, and their sense of humour is so well known.

I have stopped interacting with some of the finest and most committed individuals only because they have zero sense of humour. They remain serious all the time, when their efforts see some positive results, they find negatives even in those positive results. Ultimately, they make others so serious they forget to celebrate, dance and sometimes they even forget to smile.

People already have too much negativity and sadness in their lives and that is why change makers need to work with them. Many times we add more negativity in their lives by being serious all the time unnecessarily. This attitude would surely not help our communities to sustain their movements for long.

‘Fun is a serious business’ I read this beautiful line at a workshop conducted by youth organisation Pravah. In fact Pravah calls it a ground rule in every single workshop or training sessions they conduct because they believe that fun is one of the most important values of a true leader. It made me believe that your sense of humour is the best fuel we need to keep refilling to go the extra mile in our vision for social change. Remember, we get from life what we give to life, subsequently we get from communities what we give to communities. If we keep a good sense of humour while working on serious issues, we will get positive results. And even if we don’t always get lucky and do not get desired results, we will be far more positive to accept undesirable results.

As young change makers the golden rule is to consider fun as a serious business!

I hope this small note will not offend ‘serous’ social activists ‘seriously’. Rather, they would take this note ‘seriously’ and appropriate my ‘serious’ sense of humour 😁😁😁

~Gaurang Raval


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