The Daily Dick: Musings on the Relevance of Moby-Dick Today
"If any one man, in his own proper person, afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, let him not be backward, but let him cheerfully allow himself to spend and be spent in that way. And the man that has anything bountifully laughable about him, be sure there is more in that man than you perhaps think for."
Melville speaks truth! People who can laugh at their own foibles are usually the most confident people I know. This passage seems to say that if we give anyone a laugh, even at our own expense, then so be it. The passage also seems to imply that those folks who allow you to laugh at them are often worth exploring. I know some public figures who turn to revenge when they feel they are being laughed at. I know others who laugh at themselves as they stand by your side. I prefer the laughter.