Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

with the fratello

This photo was taken in Bologna, Italy back in July. Perhaps you can pick me out from the elderly Italian men looking up to watch the Tour de France. I absolutely loved it. The smell of Italian cigars, black coffee, boisterous laughter and yelling among paisanos transported me back to my childhood.

So why did I ask my friend to take this photo of me wearing my undershirt in public, knowing full well that it would be potential blackmail material?  Simply put, I think it’s good to occasionally demonstrate that you don’t take yourself too seriously. In this instance, I couldn’t resist the temptation to engage the Italian stereotype to the point of ridiculousness. I realize that it may cost me my Order of the Sons of Italy membership; but, hey, once in a while you need to throw decorum to the wind and enjoy life.

Along this line, I once received a valuable admonition. It came from Msgr. Irvine Nugent of St. Helen’s Church in Vero Beach, a friend during my days of working in the Catholic Church. A little leprechaun of a man, Fr. Nugent was full of humor and wit. For as long as I live, I’ll always remember his exhortation when I mentioned that I was preparing for ministry in the evangelical tradition. With a twinkle in his eye and his cheerful Irish brogue, he replied, “Chris, remember, don’t take yourself too serious; save that for God.”

What brilliant advice.


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