Dissecting the meaning of humor is like dissecting a frog: nobody really enjoys it and the frog dies. So let’s save a frog. No analysis or dissection here, just a direct conclusion. Humor is important.
I actually like the word mirth better than humor. It is more encompassing and more beneficial. Mirth is gladness accompanied by laughter. You must have both of those ingredients for mirth….gladness AND laughter. If you just have one, you really have nothing. Imagine Abbot without Costello, peaches without cream, or reality shows without idiots. Break these duos up and they don’t work. The same goes for gladness and laughter. If you’re missing one…no mirth.
Why is mirth important? Many reasons, but here’s my number one. Mirth gives you distance. Distance allows you to see the whole picture. It gives you perspective. Is the glass half empty or half full? From a mirth perspective, it’s neither. The glass is too dang big! Get a smaller glass and it’ll be full. That’s the mirth perspective…you see all the angles. You can only do that with distance. Distance gives you perspective because it gives you distance from problems and daily stressors and in case you didn’t know, life is much easier to handle (and lots more fun) when you can see things from a distance. A problem can be overwhelming when the problem is all you see. Your heart rate rises, blood pressure soars, respiration gets poor, and in technical terms, it’s a bad thing. Plus, you’re miserable to be around.
You can create distance if you will occasionally just lighten’ up and be a kid. Kids have open minds. One of my best friends has a four-year-old son who recently asked him, “Was Humpty Dumpty’s mom a big fat chicken?” Only a kid would think of that. Be a kid. If no other time of the year, you have the opportunity at Halloween. It’s a chance to be a kid. It’s a chance to dress up. Last year I was a ballerina. I even had the tights and a tutu. Simply put, I was a 190-pound ballerina with a potbelly. Some small children were frightened, and I don’t mean in a spooky way. I mean in a, “honey call the police” way. Well, that changed things. Who wants to be within 100 yards of a school anyway? So be a kid. You don’t stop playing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop playing.
If being a kid is too difficult for you, I have a more simple solution. In the morning when you wake, wipe the sleep from your eyes, then march into the bathroom, and stare at yourself in the mirror with nothing on but your underwear. At first, you will cry, but keep staring. Eventually, you will laugh.
There are many beautiful creatures on this planet, like a white Bengal tiger or a racing thoroughbred, but me in my underwear is a big fat “NO”. Accept it, we’re funny looking creatures. I know my maker put me together funny because he put my spare hair on my back. (I may have lost a few female readers with that one. TMI?)
What am I saying? Laugh at yourself occasionally. You are a wealth of comedic material and you do laughable stuff all the time, it just means you’re normal. Have you ever called someone and when they answered the phone, you forgot whom you had called? Sure you have. Then you have to ask, “Who is this?” And you hear, “It’s your mother.” Or how about when you’re looking for something? While you’re in the process of looking for it, you completely forget what you are looking for. What do you do then? You just keep on looking, don’t you? Do you think you’re just going to bump into it? Or how about when in you get in your car after it’s been sitting out all day in cold weather? You know the engine is cold and you know the heater takes a while to warm up, but you will still immediately turn the heater fan on “high”. Now you’ve got a wind chill factor in the car. We do goofy stuff all the time and this is a great way to make mirth….laugh at yourself. I’ve been watching people a long time and there’s one thing I know for sure. We’re all idiots at times. That’s how you know if you’re normal.
So let’s do a brief review.
Be a kid.
Stare at yourself in your underwear.
Pretty simple, huh? Keep things in perspective by doing a little mirthmaking.
Look at us. We made up a word. And oh yeah, we also saved a frog.
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