Why take things so seriously?

William Liao
2 min readJun 13, 2024

On the freeway today I heard a loud *crack* noise, my eyes scanned the windshield in a panicked frenzy, and much to my dismay I discovered a crack.

I then proceeded to utter a laundry list of expletives, which only grew longer after the irony of my windshield getting cracked enroute to a car wash sunk in.

Not my proudest moment, and it’s not lost on me that this is 100% a first world problem and ultimately it is a privilege to be able to own a vehicle.

30 minutes later, my brain cooled to a low enough temperature that I was able to reflect and realize a few things:

  1. Wow, I am not handling this well.
  2. This is a test of patience, or at least it could be one. Patience only grows when tested, this could be a perfect occasion to test it.
  3. This is an unfortunate problem, but it will not ruin me. So is it really worth taking this situation as seriously as I am?

I’m a sucker for symbols and recently started wearing a bright orange band around my wrist to remind me not to take life too seriously lest I forget to enjoy it, which incidentally was a life perspective I’d only managed to appreciate fully after the death of someone close to me 7 years ago — a test if there ever was one.

If I couldn’t rearrange my perception of this situation and move on, what good would this orange, loud-on-purpose band be?

With this in mind, I listened to my instincts and did a weird yet oddly effective thing: I gave the windshield crack a name, Donny. (Sorry to all the Donny’s out there, it’s nothing personal and was just the first name that came to my mind).

This silly gesture was enough to make me laugh and brush the situation off. I called a glass repair shop and all will get sorted in due time.

Levity can be a wonderfully soothing balm in otherwise tough, challenging, and frustrating situations. It really begs the question: why take things so seriously?

If we have to march through problems one way or another, why not leverage our ability to reframe and find the humor in things?

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William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (ephemera.photography)