The wise man Solomon wrote, “A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). A few years ago a hit movie came to town. PATCH ADAMS was an odd-ball doctor who believed that there was a specific connection between humor, wisdom and feeling good. He believed “A merry heart was like medicine” and while he was rejected by the ‘Status-Quo’ he was successful in helping people get well by creating in them a well of laughter. He was unusual, different and at times a bit foolish.
I identify with him as a motivational speaker. For nearly 30 years I have conducted spiritually based motivational seminars. The natural humor evoked on these weekends is a release of emotions and feelings that people find helpful and delightful. The fun of learning is somewhat of a lost art.
Advertisers would do well to understand the principle that Doctor Patch Adams demonstrated. School principals, professors, merchants and parents would be more successful if they would ‘let their hair down’ and identify with the average Joe or Jane that walks the streets.
Balance is what we need in life. Laughter and tears are so closely related that you may be crying about some foolish thing and end up in hearty laughter. Then you may be laughing so hard that tears stream down your cheeks as you nearly fall off the chair. Show me a family that does not cry or laughs together and I’ll show you a family that is ‘dead on the vine’ and need reviving.
Laughter doesn’t solve problems but a laugh or a smile can help find the answer when a negative disposition doesn’t. The story is told of the condemned man, facing the firing squad was asked if he had any last words. “This sure is going to teach me a lesson,” he replied. Another, in the same situation was offered a cigarette but he refused while saying, “I’m trying to quit!”
I have always been a sucker for one-liners. They are short and to the point. The catcher for the New York Yankees made a million on simple one liners. Yogi said, “Then you come to the fork in the road – take it”. Another quote was quite humorous when he said, “This place is so crowded, no body comes here anymore”. He was the master of the one-liners and his seemed to come naturally.
One-liners tend to spice up a speech and reward an audience who is in rhythm with the speaker. From The King of One-Liners, Henny Youngman,
“My barber says my hair is getting thin. So who wants fat hair?”
“I was the teacher’s pet. she couldn’t afford a dog.”
“It’s easy to tell when you’ve got a bargain. It doesn’t fit.”
“Beauty comes from within – within jars, tubes and compacts.”
“I’ll never forget the first time we met – but I’m trying.”
“He was so stingy he went on his honeymoon alone.”
“Marriage is the only war where you sleep with the enemy!”
Filed Accident Report: “I had been driving for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.”
Officer: “You’re so drunk you can’t see ten feet ahead of you. The drunk replied as he looked up and pointed, “How far is the moon?”
Physician to minister: “You’re not paranoid – they really are after you!”
Lone Ranger to Tonto: “Look up and tell me what you see.” “I see the great sky the many stars . . .” “You fool, somebody stole our tent!”
Church bulletin: “Don’t let worry kill you – let the church help.”
Church bulletin: “Potluck supper Thursday night. Prayer and medication to follow.”
Church bulletin: “For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs in the basement.”
Church bulletin: “This afternoon there will be a meeting in the south and north ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.”
Welfare Application: “I cannot get sick pay. I have six children. Can you tell me why?”
Accident Report: “I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way.”
Welfare Application: “I have no children as yet, as my husband is a truck driver and works day and night.”
Accident Report: “I saw a slow moving sad faced old gentleman as he bounced off the hood of my car.”
Remember, “Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, and since we all take medicine, keep the sugar bowl handy.”
The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes said, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die… a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted… a time to weep and a time to laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4).
Just keep everything in balance. That’s the key to a good and happy life.