Ha! You bet!

It’s Thanksgiving week and you know what that means – at some point we’re going to be with a group and someone will ask us to stop eating and watching football and give thanks for something. What are you going to say?

Most of us will look down into our gratitude cup and pull out one of the usual suspects. Yep.  We’re thankful for the food were eating, we’re thankful for our friends, we’re thankful for our family, we’re thankful for our prosperity and all the gifts that life has given us. Someone might even get reflective and express gratitude for love and how it brought us all together. Someone with one eye still on the TV will say we’re thankful that the NFL now schedules 3 games this day!

A guy finally got tickets to the Super Bowl, but his seats were in the nosebleed section — but he didn’t care, he had always dreamed of going to the Super Bowl. So he wants to find a seat closer to where he can see better. He finds this seat toward the front and he asks the guy next to it whether anyone is sitting there.

The guy replies, “No, because my wife just died.” 

“Well,” says the first man, “why didn’t you just bring a friend or relative?”

The guy replied, “Oh, they’re all at the funeral.”

However, this Thanksgiving I’m calling you to add a new item to your list – laughter! That’s right, I want you to reflect on the gift of small giggles and large belly laughs and then be appreciative of all they do for you!  And when they ask you what you’re thankful for, tell them “humor, joy and laughter.”

Yes, science has confirmed what the Reader’s Digest was telling us for years – laughter is the best medicine. That in itself is enough to give thanks – but wait there’s more.

What about the joy you feel when you are laughing? Think about how a good gut wrenching laugh can double you over in a good kind of pain, bring tears to your eyes and joy to your life. Think about the contagious nature laughing and how you just can’t help yourself from joining in the guffaws when someone else is bent over in laughter ecstasy.

What did one computer say to the other?

010101101010101010101

Laughter is about the quality of your life – are you laughing enough?

I know some of you will say “how can you encourage us all to laugh more when so many serious issues are transpiring on the planet?” This is a variation on the well-worn statement that “if you’re not concerned about what’s going on in the world, then you’re just not paying attention.”

Did you hear about the guy they found dead with his head in his cornflakes?

The police thought it was a cereal killer.

Yeah, I get it, there’s a lot of negative stuff out there. And, there is a time in a place for us to be serious about discussing and solving our problems.

Q: What do you get when you cross a dinosaur with a pig?

A: Jurrassic Pork.

However, I would turn the above statement around to this –

If you’re not laughing about what’s going on in the world, then you’re just not paying attention.

Sometimes we can let events “out there” get us so down and so deadly sober that we forget to let a little joy in our lives. We seem to be suffering from terminal seriousness. That’s no way to live a life!

“Mommy, the kids all say we’re aliens from outer space. That’s not true, is it?”

“Vegl dibrogmrn di shtrtl mixtor!”

Yes, I know, there are a few moments in our personal lives or out in the world when things are going so badly in that moment that humor seems inappropriate. Fortunately, these totally humorless moments are way outnumbered by the rest of the times in our lives when laughter might be a little useful.

Wayne Dyer used to say, “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” How are you looking at things? Most people I bump into are taking life much too seriously. I think we can all benefit from stepping back and putting on a pair of “laughter lenses”.

A shipment of Viagra was hijacked on the way to the depot.

The police have warned the public to be on the lookout for a gang of hardened criminals.

How do we do that? It’s simple – when you think things are getting too serious, when you feel yourself getting uptight or angry, when the energy or mood in the room is getting too heavy – stop and shift your perspective. In your mind’s eye, step back and imagine yourself as a witness to the events before you and then ask yourself –

What’s funny about this?

Things really are embedded with a lot of comedy if we stop and consider it. This worldly life and all its events are truly bizarre. Practice by watching the news and not taking it so seriously. Yes, take action where you can and work to make things better – but never forget that one of the reasons you are here on earth is to have some fun! Put fun at the top of your to do list.

Q: Why did Beethoven kill his chicken?

A: It kept saying, “Bach, Bach, Bach.”

Need to generate some quick laughter? Put on your favorite comedy movie (my favorites are Airplane! and Blazing Saddles). Go watch a standup comedian in person or on TV. Listen to comedy radio in your car (if it’s in your area). Read some Dave Barry. But my God do something that makes you laugh!

A busload of politicians were driving down a country road, when suddenly the bus ran off the road and crashed into an old farmer”s barn.

The old farmer got off his tractor and went to investigate. Soon he dug a hole and buried the politicians. A few days later, the local sheriff came out, saw the crashed bus and asked the old farmer where all the politicians had gone.

The old farmer told him he had buried them.

The sheriff asked the old farmer, “Lordy, were they ALL dead?”

The old farmer said, “Well, some of them said they weren”t, but you know how them crooked politicians lie.”

Need even more laughter? When you and your family are together this holiday, tell them you want to give thanks for laughter. They’ll probably give you an odd look but then you can sit back and move into your witness mode and find the comedy in your family. It’s there if you only look.

A little girl got on her grandpa’s lap and said, “Did God make me?”

“Yes,” the grandpa replied.

“Did God make you too?”

“Yes,” the grandpa said.

“Well,” the little girl said, looking at his wrinkles and thinning hair. “He sure is doing a better job nowadays!”

Remember – life’s way too short, make sure you’re enjoying your time here.

Happy laughing Thanksgiving!

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Mark Gilbert

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