Friday, June 25, 2010

Laughing to tears

Long week! This week I went to the National ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Symposium in Denver. It's serious and can be intense, but one day at lunch, we took a break from the serious side of things. The speaker was a comedian, and perhaps the best lesson from the conference was the reminder of the importance of laughter.

* Laughing to tears really makes a person feel much better
* Children laugh much more than adults - we should learn from them
* Different types of laughter - the continuous snort (which we all occasionally do - snort), the silent laugh followed by gasps for breath, and many others
* Laughter and tears are underrated - both make us feel better
* We will fall down in life; laughter is what enables us to get back up (and not just jokes), in whatever sense "to get back up" means
* Complaining leads to all kinds of negative things; laughter (good, not ill-intended) leads to the positive stuff like peace, empathy, patience, forgiveness - these can lead to hope
* Typically many people start their day with their list of things to do - not typically a "happy" list of things. What if we journaled each day the happy parts of the day, even if it sounds corny? In the end, what do we want to remember? It's the good stuff - seek it out

paraphrasing from the speaker (T. Marni Wos) and Christopher Frye:
Humor is an escape. It’s not an escape from reality. It’s certainly not an escape from the truth. But rather it is this narrow escape from despair into hope, into belief that we could all persevere in light of humor, in light of joy. And that laughter is not a vulnerable optimism which it is not. Good laughter, that is a hard won thing; it is a hard won maturity of delight. It’s the laughter that stands in need of an echo.

from an Italian artist: "We are all born part angel with one wing and if we ever hope to fly, we will have to first learn to embrace."


1 comment:

Sandy Lahmann said...

Thanks for the reminder! I think it is so important to be able to laugh about my MS. Being to make jokes about it and get a good chuckle about it brings MS back down to size and helps make it more manageable. It just can't always be so serious!