My son likes science fiction movies. He could carry on a lengthy conversation about Marvel, DCComics, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Percy Jackson…Anyhow, not a subject that interests me much but I do try to make an effort to intellectually connect with him about his interests. Therefore, I find myself watching a fair amount of sci-fi and having discussions that are quite imaginary.
Not to long ago we went to the movies together. I do not remember what movie it was that we were watching in the theater. I have not only started to go with him to enjoy quality time but have found the redeeming factor in the movies that sometimes the humor is unusually funny. Sometimes humor is just right for my own sense of humor. That coming from someone who will watch a comedy movie and think afterwards I am not even sure if I laughed once at a joke.
Anyhow, while at the movies this time, I found a number of the jokes funny and even laughed out loud. A number of times at this particular movie, I noticed I had laughed and stopped laughing, waited a moment and than heard the whole theatre of people laugh. The pattern of laughter happened so many times throughout the movie I had became quite self conscious of it.
We left the theatre and I asked my son the dreaded question that I had been mulling over in the theatre. Were the other theatre goers laughing at me laughing? Cause that is a thing. I have done in the past. I have heard a joke in the theatre and it seemed unfunny to me only to later hear some guy laughing hysterically at the joke; which causes me to find myself laughing at the fact that they found it funny. Soon I was laughing with them or at them, not at the actual joke. I think they call that mirrored neurons.
Ok back to the question. Were people laughing at me laughing? My sons answer blew my mind. “No Mom you just got the joke that much sooner, you do that all the time.” Granted I am not a genius, very far from it. I do not believe it necessary to go into detail the times when I am the very last to catch on, to prove my point.
I think it is important to understand what things a person may catch on faster to. Psychologically smart, instantly intuitive, probably. Can I effectively solve a linear Math equation in a timely manner? Very unlikely. It is easy to judge somebody according to our God given gifts. A math wiz would likely pull out their hair on seeing me try to solve an equation much like I pull out my hair on someone’s behavior I do not agree with.
There have been studies that say you can not control what a person finds funny. Much like a person can not control many other unconscious responses humor, reaction time, unconscious extroverted feeling…
What does this have to do with religion? Well, I think it is the key to living in patience. Calling to mind our own short comings and wanting others to accept them seems to me to be an intuitive want from humanity. (And even God) We are constantly asking for others to be patient with us. That is love. Also calling to mind our own strengths and realizing that it is a strength. We can not expect others to have to the exact strength. We are all different and placed on this journey together.
Something small that I loose patience on all the time is in group prayer. It is most noticeable when I try to pray the rosary in a group. I have a rhythm that allows for prayerful meditation. I have commented often enough on this lack of patience to my friends on the annoyance. Many have said just slow down and prayerfully concentrate on every word. Inside I think, more like every syllable. And, I am like yyyeeeaaahhh, you do not understand, it sounds like I am Dori prayerfully speaking whale, when I try. Maybe that is the point and I just haven’t got there. Either way it takes patience with myself and with others in a loving manner to see how I can be more patient and loving in the minor annoyances.