Sunday, August 19, 2007 1:25 PM
SUNDAY SERMON: Laughter Is The Best Medicine
Lunar / Sun Day Sermon
How many times have you heard someone say to you ... " Hey .. Lighten up!" I hope, not too often, but sometimes we need to be reminded not to feel so gloomy or serious about life. Heck, you can't get out of it alive anyway, right?
It could be that the adage 'laughter is the best medicine' is true!
"Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine." Lord Byron
We, as a race, are funny. Life can be a comedy of errors, but it allows us to make mistakes for the purpose of learning from the experience.
"Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it." Steven Wright
When we see things from the lighter viewpoint, yes, indeed ... we are hilarious. Take for instance .. a love triangle -- sad in itself that one party engaged in a committed relationship allows another party from outside the relationship to become involved in the couple's personal situations. Instead of ending the committed relationship, they would rather complicate the issue by staying where they are, yet seeing another person 'on the side' thereby muddying the situation into a riot of emotions, feeling and sometimes ... lives. When you rise above the physical activities of the trio, one gets a different viewpoint that equates to nothing more than comedic. If we are not happy, we can just as easily stand in our power and declare an end to the relationship before moving on to the next one. The humor is bitter sweet, but evident, nevertheless.
"I've been in love with the same woman for 49 years. If my wife ever finds out, she'll kill me!" Henny Youngman
Gossip is another fraility of the human race that smacks of hilarity. Pumping the rumor mill into high gear targeted at an individual can ruin a person's life, yet it continues to be one of our most favored past-times. If we see something with own eyes, or hear it with own ears, we still have to be careful of putting our own spin on it which will get passed along like the game 'telephone', - each person who hears it puts their own feelings behind it before passing it on.
By the time it goes full circle through the gossip mill, the entire matter has taken a life of its own which is in no way related to the original occurrence. Sadly enough, this happens every minute of every day and someone is getting hurt from the activity. So, why do we do it? Perhaps because it brings us momentary excitement and we think " ... well, I'm not so bad off." Its takes on the 'misery loves company' mystique. And, from the big picture, it is something to laugh about.
"You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything --even poverty--you can survive it." Bill Cosby
Survival is the key here. Laughing at ourselves and our frailities helps to lighten our load quite a bit. There is no better laugh than one we have at our own expense. Finding humor in the nature of human-ness should simply be as natural as breathing and for some of us, it is a full time job. Looking at some of today's modern humorists, we begin to see a pattern developing - that which doesn't kill you, won't really hurt you !
Rodney Dangerfield made a hit with his famous line "Take my wife ... please!" You know that his wife had to have a good sense of humor to watch her beloved poke fun at her for hours on end before audiences worldwide.
And, George Carlin has a innate knack for proving that being human has its silly moments.
"Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It's just stale bread to begin with."
Shakespear claimed that the whole world is a stage and that we are all actors on that stage.. But Carlin provocatively counters: "If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?" Good question, George!
You've often heard that in order to be happy, we need to live in the present, in the 'now' as espoused by motivational and inspirational speakers everywhere.. Well, Carlin has the antidote to this one, as well: "There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past." Touche' !
We seem to spend a lot of time watching television and movies .. it is big business. They say that life imitates art and when you get right down to it .. we can see where Hollywood and its counterparts have provided enough fodder for the mill in this regard.
Take the classic movie "The Gods Must Be Crazy." A hapless traveler inadvertently tosses an empty coke bottle out of a plane, it hits an African bushman on the head, who thinks it is a gift from the gods because it indeed came from the sky. He brings it home to his family whereupon it becomes a serious item of contention -- modern man's impact upon the peaceful serenity of a bushmen tribe.
Although this 'gift' is found to be useful to the bushmen, it also causes fights, jealousy, hurt and pain. They use it for it for grinding seed into flour, rolling out dough, pounding clothes clean, even hitting each other with it. Life was so simple before this 'gift' was given to them, so the bushman decides to give it back to the gods.
He takes it out to the bush and tries to throw it back up to the sky, where it simply falls back to earth and bonks him on the head. In frustration, he tosses it. One of his children find it and the complications again ensue. This time, the bushman decides he will embark upon a journey to give back this gift .. he will walk until the end of the earth to give it back.
From here the story involves a brilliant but guileless british antropologist, a lovely fair maiden school teacher, a wealthy yet mean foil to counteract the sweetness and gentility of the brit, a bunch of terrorist marauders -- all interwoven into the fabric of the tale of whom the bushman encounters on his own personal journey to give back the gift to the gods. Everything you ever wanted to know about life is in this movie. But which is it .. is art imitating life .. or does life imitate art?
"You know what your problem is, it's that you haven't seen enough movies - all of life's riddles are answered in the movies." Steve Martin
And, so with that, I leave you with a few more interesting quotes that hammer home the message ...
“Laugh often, Dream big, Reach for the stars!” Author Unknown
"He laughs best who laughs last." English Proverb
"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book." Irish Proverb
"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul." Yiddish Proverb
"Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects." Arnold H Glasgow
"I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose." Woody Allen
“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.” Mark Twain
Be blessed All !