This is the ironic era, when more comedians are speaking heartfelt truths than some politicians, whose words make a mockery of truth and themselves, often in ways not even funny… Ansari starts his latest comedy special with a confession on his case of the arguable ‘bad date’ a year ago – ‘There’s times I felt scared. There’s times I felt humiliated. There’s times I felt embarrassed. And ultimately, I just felt terrible that this person felt this way. And after a year or so, I just hope it was a step forward. It moved things forward for me and made me think about a lot. I hope I’ve become a better person… It’s made not just me but other people be more thoughtful, and that’s a good thing.’ Reflection #1: May we forgive the sincerely repentant, and even those not so, for our own peace of mind.
When closing, he spoke on gratitude – ‘I was grateful… but I wasn’t grateful enough… I didn’t really think about what it means that all you guys came out. But now, when I see you guys here, it hits me in a different way. I think about what it means that all you guys, you drove down here, you waited in line. And you did all of this stuff just to hear me talk into a microphone for like an hour or so. And it means the world to me, ’cause I saw the world where I don’t ever get to do this again.’ Reflection #2: May we always be thankful to others for their efforts and time sacrificed for us, in ways big and small. May we never ever take others for granted or let them down.
‘And it almost felt like I’d died. In a way, I did. That old Aziz… he’s dead. But I’m glad ’cause that guy was always looking forward to whatever was next… I don’t think that way anymore. ‘Cause I’ve realised it’s all ephemeral. All that stuff, it can just go away like this… [snaps fingers]. And all we really have is the moment we’re in and the people we’re with.’ Reflection #3: May we always be reborn in better ways, from moment to moment. Reflection #4: May we be mindful that all we have is now, even in the future, which also pivots upon now. Refection #5: May we remember how everything worldly is fleeting in nature, so as to cherish now, to do as much as we can now, yet with attachment as little as we can.
‘I talked about my Grandma [with Alzheimer’s disease] earlier, and it was sad. But what I didn’t tell you was the whole time when I was with her, she was smiling, she was laughing, she was there with me. She was present in a way no other people I’ve been around recently have been. I’ve tried to take that with me… My Grandma doesn’t have much choice in this matter. But I do. And that’s how I choose to live, in the moment I’m in with the people I’m with. And right now, this is our moment, right?’ Reflection #6: May we be ever present in the here and now, yet also rightly reflective of our past – also in the here and now, so as to not miss otherwise forgotten lessons, and to better move on.