15. What is the Best Quality a Person Can Have?


Listen to the essays here or on Spotify.

I may not ever become a famous novelist or land a job copywriting for Coca Cola. I will never have a Kendall Jenner complexion or be able to rap lines like Lil Wayne. The volleyball skills I had back in college? Gone. The math scores I earned back in 9th grade? Soooohcahtoa… gone.  

But, one thing is for sure and one thing is for certain.

I can, and always will be able to make people laugh.

From the preschool playground to the produce section at Superstore, I’ve always been able to crack people open and see their goofy insides. Some may call it a skill. Some may call it being “friendly” or “outgoing”. But to me, it is a belief. I believe having a sense of humour is the best quality a human can have.

The ability to make jokes and take jokes may seem simple, but it’s actually quite complex. You’re not just the class clown or president of the peanut gallery, you are an array of all things good.

For starters, you can laugh at life’s misfortunates while others around you stomp their feet and get angry. You always find the light. You’re optimistic.

You know how and when to say the right thing to make someone feel better. You put yourself in the shoes of others to figure out the best way to cheer them up, the best way to make them chuckle. You are empathetic.

You’re able to share your embarrassing stories about life and poke fun at your stupidity. This vulnerability, although it makes people laugh, it also makes them feel like they’re not so alone. It’s your way of saying, I trust you. You are honest.   

Whether it’s a witty comment to your co-worker or a funny facial expression for someone across the room, you take those extra steps to improve other people’s daily experience. You are generous.

Laughing through life is what I believe to be the most important quality, but knowing when not to crack the joke is equally as important. You listen, observe, and think before you act. You are considerate.  

When you run into a stranger who can make you smile or have a friend who can send pee running down your leg, I believe you’re interacting with some of the best people this place has to offer. They may not win a Nobel Peace Prize or be deemed the next Mother Theresa, but they sure are good people who were born with one special quality.



June 5, 1968, Los Angeles, California. The Ambassador Hotel.

“My thanks to all of you and now it’s on to Chicago and let’s win this.”

Bobby Kennedy calls out to supporters in a sweaty ballroom after winning the California Primary election. After Chicago, he was supposed to become President. And after he became President, he was supposed to save America. He was supposed to unite a nation burning itself to the ground.

But as he was making his way to exit the hotel after that speech, he was shot three times. His wife right was next to him. His body sprawled flat on the cold, tiled floor. With a bullet lodged in the back of his orbital lobe, Bobby Kennedy perked up to say one of the last sentences to ever come out of his mouth.

“Is everybody okay?”

He immediately lost consciousness, then died a day later.

His brain was shutting down. In the last thoughts Bobby Kennedy could process, he dedicated them to other people and their safety.

It is a beautiful, sad and horrifying example of what it means to be a selfless person. In my opinion, the finest humans consider other humans before themselves.

I saw this on the History channel when I was 12 and I’ve carried it with me ever since. But It’s really just an extreme example of what good, everyday people do, living their good, everyday lives.

Being selfless means to hold the door open for someone, or to ask your neighbour if they’re cats still alive or to put the toilet seat down. Fellas, let’s just admit it, we’re not good at aiming our pee.

In our stupid little race of life, people forget they’re not the only ones running in it. We neglect to think that hey, maybe before I spit hatred all over the pimple-faced cashier at Sobey’s, I can consider who they are and what they’re going through that’s caused them to overcharge me for my mega-box of double-stuff Fudgee-O’s. 

The hope the world has in becoming more selfless and less self-obsessed only lives on in some souls. And it seems like less and less every day.

Selfless people set the example. They define what it means to be human. And like Bobby Kennedy, even after they’re gone, their character lives on forever.