Working with Tragedy

..... I found a whole lot more to laugh at other than people's misfortunes.

….. I found a whole lot more to laugh at other than people’s misfortunes.

I was looking for some humor for our humor section when I came upon the offering below. It is what I would call sick humor. That is, making light of a tragedy. At one point in my life, after serving as a combat infantryman in Korea and then working on the railroad for several years investigating some horrible crossing accidents and some tragic employee injuries and such, one day when I was just about as low in spirits as one can get, I happened to pull out all of my favorite cartoons at that time and I lined them all up on my desk.  I had read something about “sick” humor and I was shocked to see that nearly all of my favorite cartoons depicted a scene where someone had sustained a death or tragic injury from an act of stupidity.  Not long after that I read some sort of study that showed that those who investigated tragedies and handled claims had a really high rate of alcoholism and suicide.  Hmmmm. I was not a happy camper at that time. Eventually my life changed, I got a job working to prevent injuries and disasters and I found a whole lot more to laugh at other than people’s misfortunes.

I guess every job has it’s liabilities and bad points but having a daily exposure to others who are suffering from tragedy can take a severe toll on a person.  It is good now and then to stand back and check on your sense of humor to get a handle on your standing as a human being. – Art Fettig

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