Thursday, March 12, 2009

FREE Universal Health Care!

Well, perhaps that headline is a bit of an overstatement, but I wanted to get your attention while making a point.

Being out of work and looking for a job is a big enough challenge, but conducting a search within the current economic environment is a double whammy. As you may have guessed, this post is about maintaining your best self in troubled times – your “health care” shall we say.

Now let’s get to the “free” part. You don’t have to spend much money to help lighten your mood, brighten your day and give you boost. No, I’m not speaking of health club exercise, yoga classes, meditation or designer caffeine from Starbucks. I’m talking about the gift of laughter, the joy of humor to help lighten your load.

"Knock, Knock! Who's there?" *
It has often been said that laughter is the best medicine. “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone.” The late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale just about cured himself of a debilitating disease. After being released from the hospital, he asked his wife for a movie projector and gathered all the comedy movies he could locate. He watched them all, over and over again. And guess what? He recovered! Now I’m not suggesting you forfeit all your job search time in favor of watching Comedy Central. But I am encouraging you try to find ways not let your mood and outlook spiral downwards.

Did you ever realize that many of the classic talking movie comedians became famous during the 1930’s? The Marx Brothers, Three Stooges, Mae West, W. C. Fields, Laurel and Hardy and others. Coincidence? Not really. They came of age during the Great Depression, when there was a 25% unemployment rate and citizens were looking for a way to escape their troubles temporarily through the healing powers of humor.

Actually, we may be witnessing the same situation today. Hollywood producers have been lamenting recently that many of the sure-fire adult action movies, thrillers and love stories have not performed as well at the box office as expected. However, slapstick and silly comedies have performed very well. Did you know that four of the five films nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars had combined gross box office receipts totaling less than that one current flick: “Paul Bart, Mall Cop”? A possible explanation for this? I’d tell the producers to look at the 1930’s for clues.

It is inexpensive and not a huge investment in time to find ways to inject a little comic relief into your lives. Visit your library and borrow some favorite comedy films or CD’s, read the funny pages, borrow books by humor writers such as James Thurber, Mark Twain or Erma Bombeck. Actually, perhaps it is no coincidence that several of books on the current New York Times Best Sellers list are by comics Chelsea Handler, Artie Lange, Steve Harvey, Denis Leary and George Carlin. Perhaps not everyone’s taste, but I wonder how these novice writers all wound up on the current Best Sellers list at the same time. Hmmm… Let me think.

As arguably the greatest comic mind of the last century, Charlie Chaplin wrote, “You’ll find your life is still worthwhile, if you’ll just smile.”

So take the time to enjoy, share and savor the gift of laughter. It truly is the best medicine, and one that money can’t buy.

Hang in there. Keep Careering Today and Everyday!


*(editor's note: August 19, 1936, Variety magazine reported that a "Knock Knock" craze was sweeping the nation. A few months later, Englishman Wee George Wood used his radio show to share a litany of knock knock jokes. Hence the beginning of the now tedious pun. The origins may, however, may date back to Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 3. Share a good, clean knock knock with us...just for fun.)


Anonymous said...

Why did the chicken cross the road?
-- He didn't want to get grilled for his motives.

Anonymous said...

Why did the chicken cross the road?
-- There was a job fair on the other side.