Sometimes things get just a little too serious and intense, especially in the intersection of Mormonism and LGBTQ issues. It often pays to take a step back, look at things from a bit of a skewed perspective, take a break, and have a laugh or two. In that spirit, we invite members of Affirmation to submit creative work that can entertain while also illuminating or inspiring. Art, comics, humor, creative writing, whatever refreshes your soul! Submit your creative work to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Two Degrees off Center” is a monthly blog by Rich Keys about the personal struggles, issues, and topics that speak to the LDS/LGBT experience. Sometimes it will be serious, sometimes humorous, but will always approach things from a slightly different perspective.
Two Degrees off Center
By Rich Keys
What’s So Funny?
Comedian Mel Brooks was once asked for his opinion on what’s funny. He thought for a moment, then said: “You look through the viewfinder of a camera. That’s reality. Then you move the camera two degrees off center. That’s funny.”
That’s sums up my humor and my outlook on life; hence, the name I’ve chosen for this blog. When we were choosing body parts before we came down here, all the hot guys raced to the table with the six-pack abs, while I was getting some silly critters that would help me see things just slightly off center enough to get through the tough times in life and make the journey a lot more fun. I’ll admit to missing the six-pack for the pool parties and the beach, but I’m grateful for my silly critters year-round.
They also help me make sense of this crazy world, and cope with it when it doesn’t make sense. Not so long ago, life’s puzzle only had about a dozen pieces, and things were black and white. In today’s world, the puzzle is 5000 pieces, and there are 50 shades of gray between the black and white in every part of the puzzle—political, social, racial, cultural, ethical, medical, scientific, sexual, religious. Some people try to force the wrong pieces together, and then get mad, maybe even take drastic action, when it doesn’t work. Thanks to my silly critters, if I can’t make two pieces of the puzzle fit, I won’t keep trying to force them together. I’ll set one aside and work with another piece until that fits somewhere. The right picture makes sense when the right pieces fit the right way.
So how do we get through the tough times while we’re putting life’s puzzle together? Here’s a secret—one of the key pieces of the puzzle: If you look over at the guy across the table, you may notice that he has some of the pieces you need for your puzzle, and you have some that he needs for his. Unfortunately, most of us just focus on our own puzzle, assuming we have all the pieces we need—or we tell others how to put their puzzle together based on ours. But before the puzzles were handed out, the Keeper of the Puzzles secretly switched some of the pieces between puzzles, so hopefully we’d realize at some point of our journey down here that we can’t do it alone.
Here’s another secret: Organizations have puzzles, too. If a church teaches as one of its core doctrines that God “will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God,” even they don’t have all the pieces. The same is true of Affirmation.
In kindergarten, we were taught to be nice, share, and play well with others. Society is still working on that.
I don’t have all the pieces, but I have some…and you have some, and together we can make more sense of this world and our own lives, discover some truth along the way, and help each other with the puzzle of life.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out all posts in the Two Degrees off Center blog series.