Seriousness Can Be Overrated

Seriousness Can Be Overrated

Don’t take me too seriously
But I wonder if it’s worth
Pausing for a moment
To think seriously about

Sometimes people are accused
Of not taking things seriously
Of never engaging with enough
Gravity or solemnity
On subjects that merit sober thought

We should guard against flippancy
And frivolity when the context or occasion
Demands due respect
Thus no telling of trivial jokes
In the midst of a funeral ovation

That said, is it not sometimes true
That pomposity masquerades as seriousness?
This tendency is sometimes illustrated
By lofty preachers menacing us with impending hell
Even politicians with empty promises of utopia

Of course life is serious
No use pretending otherwise
We need to earn a living
Find a home, fund a pension
Even extract some meaning out of it all!

But can seriousness be overrated?
Is there never any room for levity?
Can we somehow progress through life’s journey
Straddling earnestness and joviality
Sharing pain and gain in equal measure

As once John McEnroe so emphatically declared
“You can’t be serious!”
Perhaps, sometimes, neither should we

Ken Fisher

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