Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Value of Humor

In his opening monologue at the high school library, Barry Carlson told Bayard’s Public School staff that “It’s all in your mind and don’t plan for good or better; plan for awesome.”

Then he spent the next hour, or so, letting his audience experience the value of humor, which, in this case, amounted to old fashioned, gut-level, unashamed belly guffaws. Throughout the room peals of laughter energized positive feelings and the blissful perceptions humor brings.

The troubles and stress of a new school year…forgotten; the strain of being a new teacher in a new school system… forgotten. It was time to laugh.

Moving about the front of the room Carlson talked, and his voice reverberated truth. “People feel younger when they laugh. Did you know the average child laughs 200 – 400 times per week, while an adult laughs 20 – 40 times per week?”

You could sense people mulling that statement through the chasms of their mind.

Changing one train of humor for another Carlson explained, “We don’t stop laughing as we get older, we get older because we don’t laugh.”

He paused to let that reflection sink in as he switched trains. “I played football in high school, and my senior year we didn’t win a game. You know why? The quarterback stuttered and the center was ticklish.”

He stopped to let that picture form in the psyche of his listeners’. Then, with the rest of us, he laughed at its absurdity. He knew he had his audience in the palm of his hand, like soft putty, to mold any way he chose.

Words of wisdom poured from his well-rehearsed routine. “Your sixth sense is a sense of humor so let your attitude define your humor.

“Has your life brought joy into someone’s life, and vice versa?

“It’s hard to worry and have fun, and it’s hard to have fun when worrying.

“Positive attitudes and humor go hand-in-hand.”

The statements were food for thought seasoned with laughs.

His closing statement said it all. “Here’s to the holidays, all 365 of them.”

Barry Carlson’s remarks were to Bayard Nebraska educators, but what would happen to our lives, and the lives of the ones we live with, if everyone put this article on the refrigerator and read it every morning?

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