I went to see the movie The Three Stooges Sunday with my son and a friend. Our wives weren’t interested – it must be a guy thing – so we planned a guy’s afternoon out.
For around 90 minutes I was transported back 40+ years when I loved to come home from school and watch the TV show The Three Stooges (and Gilligan’s Island and others of the same genre). I could have laughed out loud a lot more than I did in the theater Sunday, but I was a bit self-conscious with so few people around. I laughed much more alone in my car after leaving the movie.
Many people don’t like the Stooges, past or present versions. Many don’t think their slapstick, physical humor is funny at all. I do. It’s silly, ridiculous, and bizarre enough for you to know it couldn’t happen in real life. That’s the beauty of it. It gets you out of the present, out of your challenges, to-do lists, issues and uncertainties, and lets you enjoy pure silliness for a while. I did not grow up to become someone who pokes other people in the eyes, slaps their faces, pulls their hair out or hits them in the head with hammers as a result of watching the Stooges as a child. Neither did anyone else I know.
If anyone would observe me watching the movie and talk with me about it, they might learn some things about me. Which brings me to the lesson for the day…
We get to know people better when we take time to learn about their past. All of our past experiences play some part in shaping who we are today. I didn’t wake up this morning and choose to be the Jeff Ross my coworkers, family, friends and neighbors will see. My humor was shaped by earlier experiences as are my likes and dislikes for food, my expectations in relationships, work ethic, values and much more. They are where they are along the journey because of the paths taken to get to this point.
Leap year lesson #106 is To know people now, learn about their past. It will probably explain a lot and you’ll deepen your relationship.