People are never more insecure than when they become obsessed with their fears at the expense of their dreams.”
As I am sure you know by now, I feel that a sense of humor is one of the most important attributes exhibited by the happy person. For me laughter helps not only to brighten the day but it also has great therapeutic value. It is hard to focus on our real or perceived problems while we are laughing, in fact I know of few other tools as effective to help put things in perspective.
Most of you are too young to remember the weekly Saturday Review magazine edited for many years by Norman Cousins one of my all-time favorite people, the Review was a favorite of mine. Cousins became one of our countries leading advocates of the healing power of humor. Here is the story behind the gift he left us all.
Many years ago, Norman Cousins was diagnosed as "terminally ill." He was given six months to live. His chance for recovery was one in 500.
He could see the worry, depression and anger in his life contributed to, and perhaps helped cause, his disease. He wondered, "If illness can be caused by negativity, can wellness be created by positivity?" He decided to make an experiment of himself.
Laughing was one of the most positive activities he knew. He rented all the funny movies he could find - Keaton, Chaplin, Fields, the Marx Brothers. (This was before VCRs, so he had to rent the actual films.) He read funny stories. He asked his friends to call him whenever they said, heard or did something funny.
His pain was so great he could not sleep. Laughing for 10 solid minutes, he found, relieved the pain for several hours so he could sleep. He fully recovered from his illness and lived another 20 happy, healthy and productive years. (His journey is detailed in his book, Anatomy of an Illness.) He credits visualization, the love of his family and friends, and laughing for his recovery.
Some people think laughing is a waste of time. It is a luxury, they say, a frivolity, something to indulge in only every so often. Nothing could be further from the truth. Laughing is essential to our equilibrium, to our well-being, to our aliveness. If we're not well, laughing helps us get well; if we are well, laughing helps us stay that way.
Since Cousins' ground-breaking subjective work, scientific studies have shown that laughter has a curative effect on the body, the mind and the emotions. So, if you like laughing, consider it sound medical advice to indulge in it as often as you can. If you don't like laughter, then take your medicine - laugh anyway.
Use whatever makes you laugh - movies, sitcoms, Monty Python, records, books, New Yorker cartoons, jokes, friends.
Give yourself permission to laugh - long and loud and out loud - whenever anything strikes you as funny. The people around you may think you're strange, but sooner or later they'll join in even if they don't know what you're laughing about.
Some diseases may be contagious, but none is as contagious as the cure. . . laughter.
“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
In the spirit of keeping you abreast of the world news we have included some headlines you may have missed:
War Dims Hope for Peace
If Strike isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge
GARBAGE: A collection of refuse items, the taking out of which Mom assigns to a different family member each week, then winds up doing herself.
A factory owner said to a store owner, "Thank you, Mr. Smith, for your patronage. I wish I had twenty customers like you."
"Gosh, it's nice to hear that, but I'm kind of surprised," admitted Smith.
"You know that I argue every bill and always pay late."
The factory owner said, "I'd still like twenty customers like you. The problem is, I have two hundred."
Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
She said: School Troubles
When I arrived for my daughter’s parent-teacher conference, the teacher seemed a bit flustered, especially when she started telling me that my little girl didn’t always pay attention in class and was sometimes a little flighty. “For example, she’ll do the wrong page in the workbook,” the teacher explained, “and I’ve even found her sitting in the wrong desk.”
“I don’t understand that,” I replied defensively. “Where could she have gotten that?”
The teacher went on to reassure me that my daughter was still doing fine in school and was sweet and likeable. Finally, after a pause, she added, “By the way, Mrs. Johnson, our appointment was for tomorrow.”
Help wanted telepath: you know where to apply
A pretty young gal stood at the bank cashier's window and smiled. "I'd like to cash this check, please," she said, handing it over.
The teller examined the check, then said: "Could you identify yourself, Miss?"
For a moment the lovely girl's brow creased over, then with a bright look she fumbled in her handbag and producing a mirror, glanced in it and with relief said, "Yes! It's me, all right!"
The clerk said, "No Ma'am, you misunderstood me. We require a photo identification."
The girl searched her bag again and found a picture with a group of young children and an adult. "This is my third grade class photo," she explained. "That's me, third from the left in the bottom row."
If something comes to life in others because of you, then you have made an approach to immortality.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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