The Zen Of Laughter

Q: What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? A: a stick

I don’t have a brother but I do have an uncle less than a year older than me which is a great substitute. In my childhood I would often go around to his house and he and his dad would be watching some old re-run on television and wetting their pants with laughter. I couldn’t see what was so funny about the lame jokes and one liners – to me they were predictable and the laughter canned. The memory and the lesson though have stayed with me after all these years; father and son were receptive to laughter and thus were bonded all the more so from that process. Now before I get myself into trouble here I should explain that my own father and I have our fair share of mirth although we were wired differently and our humor was quite different. I also used to have a high old time with my great grandmother watching midget wrestling although she didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Latvian.

 Worldwide most people would know of Dr. Hunter Adams from the “Patch Adams”  movie with Robin Williams. The good doctor sure understood the link between wellbeing and laughter, he established the Gesundheit! Institute in 1971 and in 1995 Indian physician Madan Kataria launched the first “Laughter Club” which has become a phenomenon in its own right. The cult of laughter is catching on but for me the revelation could be traced back to my childhood.
Now my own perspective is somewhat rudementary but I do know two important things; (1) that you have to be actively receptive to a good laugh and (2) that you have to nurture it in your relationships. I’ve certainly done that with my wife and I’m sure it’s one of the reasons that our marriage has survived. Its probably the key to any successful relationship. As for our own heir apparent, instilling the joys of laughter into his upbringing as been a wonderful experience. However he did  have to have the lesson that it was a fine line between having a good laugh at school and being the ‘class clown’.
I would really like to finish my little homely with a really fantastic joke but… guessed it, I can’t think of one off the top of my head. Anyway that would be contrived and it has to be more natural than that. Instead I think that I’ll sign off with a plea and a challenge. I would ask that you start your day a little more receptive to a good laugh and run with it. As for the challenge; see if you can bring someone’s mood up a few notches with humor, I’m sure your day will be more enriched for it.

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