Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Seriousness

Kimberly Smith + serious = (possible? or not possible?)

Many times have I had people say to me that I “can’t be serious.” Then today it was put to me that my inability to be serious is my “flaw in friendship.” It was described in these terms: “a flaw in friendship is when the two friends can’t be serious when needed.” So, after hearing this I began to give it more thought throughout the day and question myself, “Am I incapable of being serious?” “Am I incapable of identifying situations of seriousness?”

All this thinking only brought up more questions in my head. “What makes a situation a ‘serious’ situation?” “When is a situation strictly limited to ‘serious’ talk?” and, my favorite, “Is there really situations where humor is completely unacceptable?” [Gosh, too many questions…this reminds me of school!]

So, with all the questions I decided I needed to reflect on past experiences in my life, mainly situations dealing with friendships I’ve had and if times of seriousness were ever present. In efforts not to bring my personal friendships into the public light, because I don’t want anyone offended that I spoke of our relationship in front of my millions of blog readers that I tell myself I have, I will simply say this: I can think of a good number of specific times I have had very deep, serious talks with folks, especially close friends, because if you want true, deep, meaningful serious stuff from me, I normally only open that up to people I’m really close with, but anyways, the answer is “yes” I believe I have been serious in friendships.

Now this is my true beliefs on seriousness though. Yes, being serious is important, because I think seriousness goes hand-in-hand with true honesty (think about it and you’ll know what I mean), but I also find it hard to think of a situation where “humor is completely unacceptable” and to be quite honest, I can’t think of a situation that wouldn’t be “lifted up” by the use of a little humor; it seems as though it is the “light at the end of the tunnel” sometimes, if you ask me! I’ve even found rather recently the true benefits of the use of humor in situations as “serious” as death (yes, believe it! Becca will back me on this one too!)

So, after saying all this, I think back again to some of the specific individuals who have told me in the past that I “can’t be serious” and try to see where they are coming from. I think some people simply differ from me in that they believe that there ARE some situations where “humor is unacceptable.” I think they tend to view humor thrown into a “serious” situation as a “distraction” while I view it as a chance to lighten the moment, to not get too wrapped up in the pressure/stress of the time.

So, I personally believe I AM capable of being serious when “needed.” Of course, I believe I’m capable of anything I put my mind too, so I better rephrase that: I believe I have been and still can be serious with my friends when times call for seriousness. I will also say this, you will find, I have some sort of a nocturnal setting on my seriousness level, and it tends to reach it’s maximum potential at night (AKA I can be my serious-est at night). Like those late night walks, right Laura? ;) And finally, you’ll find I limit my humor in situations where I am driven by passion. For instance, I was saying to someone today how you can tell if I’m really passionate about something I’m writing because it will be really long (yes, I know you’re thinking, “well gosh, you must be passionate about EVERYTHING you write!” but in reference to all my writings, the longer ones are normally my more passionate ones). You’ll normally find that when I’m passionate, I limit my “humorous” comments. For instance with writing, my style of humor normally falls in parentheses, which I would refer to as an “aside.” Isn’t that the right word? So, next time you’re reading something I’ve written (and past “Canned Meat” readers might have noticed it, because I made attempts at most of my humor in those via asides) note my usage of “asides.”

In conclusion, I want your input. I want your honest opinion of if you a.) think I’m capable of being serious, and b.) have ever seen me be serious. Trust me, I have heard that I “can’t be serious” enough times that you saying it again won’t offend me, if anything, it might help me to see my true self (if that truly is who I am). Simply “comment” to this post and let me know, I truly do want your opinion! Thanks!

3 comments:

Holly said...

I've seen you be serious about many things, many times. And I think anyone is "capable" of of being serious as well. But I also think we all have different "levels" of seriousness in some situations/about some things in life. Me: I am serious about honesty (as you are too) - I value honesty and thus take it more seriously than others - but then there are others who take it more seriously than me (those who think truth is always absolute)! Some of us take things more personally than others - No, all of us do. We all take different things/values more personally - it's simply b/c we're in the category of human! :)

Laura said...

I think you are the most serious person I know…just kidding. When I think of you as a friend, I think of laughing and truth. I know that I can always be true with you and get the truth back. It is in these times of truth, that I do think you are the most serious. You have held me accountable for some things that no one else knew about and I needed you to be “real” or “serious” about it and you came through for me. Granted, you always had a smile to offer or a fun word of encouragement, but I think that’s why problems always seemed to be ok when we would hang out or talk. It’s not that you’re a goof-off all the time, it’s the fact that you seem to see the joys and fun in life and you want everyone to see them too. Do I think your fun in life is a problem? Only when I’m being too serious to enjoy life and you bring me back to reality with a joke. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing you real well for almost two years now and you are one of my best friends. I first got to know you because of your humor but I really know you because of all the “serious” talks that we’ve had. Believe me, they’re more than you can probably remember: in the car after officer meetings, about friends and family, religion was a big one, even our friendship, and many more. I have come to grow and love a Kim that maybe only her close friends know…but it’s a Kim that is always there for me, tells me how it is when everyone else covers it up, and makes me laugh when I need it most. Maybe she only shows it to her closest friends; I know I do because it’s where I feel the safest. But get to know this Kim because I want her to leave impressions on your life like she has and continues to do on mine.

Alvin Hotchkins said...

I don't know if the inability to be serious when needed is really a 'friendship flaw.' It's more just a sign of maturity.

Communication, honesty, and understanding are of utmost importance in any relationship, whether it be a friendship, familial, or dating/marriage. And it helps to have an easy time reading the other person involved, thereby helping one know how to react.

I've had my moments when I've said something that wasn't so smart... Merely because I wasn't thinking about the seriousness of the situation.

It's ludicrous to think of it merely as a 'flaw in friendship.' It's a flaw in charachter (not that I'm saying you have this flaw, because I don't know you).