Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The remedy for what ails you

     Santa Claus nails it. Chris Rock has no trouble with it. So does Woody Woodpecker. They laugh whenever they feel like it. What’s wrong with the rest of us?
     We get so tied-up into knots that we forget—yes, we forget to take time for a little laughter each day.
     It’s free for the asking and has tremendous mental and physical health benefits.
     Like the old saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, a little laughter is just the stress reliever for a lightness of being.
     There is a time to be serious, and there is a time for a little chuckling, giggling and pure hysterics.

     We’re in the longest election season in history, and it will wear us down without a few late night cackles fortifying our souls. Come on, folks. Doom and gloom should not be the forecast.
     It is all fine and dandy to be politically correct, but let’s not carry it overboard and become so sensitive that we can’t laugh with one another of opposing views.
     Watching Jimmy Fallon’s masterful imitations of first Donald Trump, and now Bernie Sanders, takes the edge off the solemn campaign rhetoric. And to be fair, Kate McKinnon of SNL has Hillary Clinton down pat. Both comedians are top-notch, and they are just two of so many others out there in cyberspace that work at making folks laugh.
     A veteran teacher told me at the beginning of my career that there should be room for at least one spontaneous laughing episode in the classroom per day student or adult initiated.
     When children see their teacher in a more natural way as a fellow human full of uncertainties and questions about life, it keeps things together in a desirable way. 

     I believed her and it became a practice. I could feel the pressure roll off my students-- and me, generating a better atmosphere for learning together.
     As a result of laughter, I noticed fabulous plays and stories created by budding authors in a room free of anxiety. Those former students are out there now in the world with pen—or computer, hard at work at obtaining an MFA in Writing, owning a consulting company and in public relations for a major non-profit.
     There are several former students that keep blogs relating to their professions – a music listeners’ club blog comes to mind - and each is outstanding writing and highly informative, too. I read them and respond when I am able to let these young adults know that their teacher is keeping in virtual contact.
     The failed science experiments in the classroom are the ones our future researchers and doctors –I taught many now in the medical field - learned from the most, as is usually the case.
     There was a twist of laughter ringing out in the classroom when something went pop, crunch or simply nothing happened at all after careful manipulation.
     Boy, did we have fun, and we learned a heap about taking risks and repeated failures breeding success eventually. It was always about the hypothesis and science all around us.  

     There are certain types of people that I admire for having a personality filled to the brim with humor.
     I love the person who can laugh at his mistakes graciously and   take a little ribbing from his colleagues.
     Everyone nearby rolls into a fit of giggling over a stupid error that no one will even remember two hours later. There is that potential to fret over your image, and this person is secure enough to not care when it comes right down to it.
     I love someone who can make me laugh when I don’t even feel like I want to smile.
     When I have a terrible head cold and can hardly breathe, laughter is the best medicine next to plenty of fluids and chicken noodle soup. Clever and articulate friends are great at making me howl with their one-liners.
     Better still, I do appreciate my husband who listens to my sadness attentively, and then prods some smiling out of me although I may be hurting dreadfully inside.
     I love the sole person who laughs himself silly at the movies over a ridiculously poorly made comedy.
     No. It isn’t rude in my book. I marvel at someone releasing whatever he has to let go of, and fading into the screen’s action. He might be an off-duty EMT, firefighter or policeman chilling.
     I love the store clerk who enjoys his job so much that he lets the little irritants from customers roll right off his back.
     His witty comments make it worth it that you are waiting in line to get to the cash register. You can hear him bantering with the other customers, too. You turn will be soon, and what will he say?  
     I love a person who laughs at his mortality.
     You’re positive that is one person that has it all together like my friend on her 92nd birthday told me that she felt no different than on her 18th except for lack of ability to get around on the dance floor. She’s passed on now, and still, when I think of some of her quips, I get my laugh in for the day, and a couple more, too.
     Go ahead. Be silly. The reward is huge, I mean, HUGE. A big belly laugh once a day is a super dose of a mega-vitamin for what ails you.