Norman Cousins claimed in his classic book back in the day that laughter was the best medicine. He was a political journalist and world peace advocate, born in 1915. According to Wikipedia:
Cousins served as Adjunct Professor of Medical Humanities for the School of Medicine at UCLA, where he did research on the biochemistry of human emotions, which he had long believed were the key to human beings’ success in fighting illness. It was a belief he maintained even as he battled a sudden-onset case of an unidentified, crippling illness tentatively diagnosed as ankylosing spondylitis.
(Now, this interests me a lot, since my maternal grandfather ALSO suffered from this rare and painful form of arthritis. Grandpa took massive doses of Ibuprofen, or so I am told.)
Cousins took massive intravenous doses of Vitamin C, and his recovery was accelerated by self-induced bouts of laughter brought on by videos of the television show Candid Camera by various comic films. (I think he said in the book it was Charlie Chaplain movies…)
Always Look On the Bright Side of Life (Ta Dum, Ta dah dah dah dah dum…)
Told that he had little chance of surviving, Cousins developed his own recovery program. His positive attitude was not new to him, however. He had always been an optimist, known for his kindness to others, and his robust love of life itself. “I made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep,” he reported. “When the pain-killing effect of the laughter wore off, [Ellen and I] would switch on the motion picture projector again and not infrequently, it would lead to another pain-free interval.”[citation needed
Later in life he and his wife Ellen together fought his heart disease, again with exercise, a daily regimen of vitamins and good nutrition provided by Ellen’s organic garden.
(Hey, I need an Ellen!)
So, here is what I’m doing today to make the world a better place…I’m laughing at it! At me, myself and I. At politics and all the genuine rediculosity of human life. 😉 Huh. I think I feel better. Don’t you? Let me share some hilarious cat videos with you. Let’s all stop taking everything so seriously. It’s only life, after all, said the Indigo Girls. But kind, well-intentioned laughter, not mean-spirited or putdown laughter. Ya know.
The graphics in this post are three of my all-time favorite things to laugh about:
1. Everybody’s crazy relatives (You don’t have one? Then you’re the crazy one.)
2. Cats and their attitude
3. Work. Computers. Working with computers. Working with computer nerds. Irishmen who are very artistic.