Start Laughing or Stop Growing

Oaklee’s Guest Post By Brian R. King, the Spectrum Mentor

Were you born without a funny bone?

Did you let the air out of your goofball?

I’m amazed how many people I meet that seem to be afraid to laugh. People who take life and themselves so seriously.

I enjoy platforms such as Facebook because I’ve discovered how to make it a positive place to be instead of a self-centered, self-righteous, monday loathing bitch fest.

Though you and your fellow readers here often see my more serious side those who follow me on Facebook and Twitter see the spontaneous musings of my inner goofball.

Just this morning I posted this comment . . .

The boys noticed that our puppy Chloe lost a tooth this morning. I jokingly said, “That’s what happens in this house when you give me sass mouth.”

The response from the boys was, “Daaaaaad.” They knew I was joking and they appreciated it.

I’ve been called unprofessional and even a bad role model to my children for my humor. I’ve been called this by people who unfortunately, have forgotten how to laugh, especially at themselves.

Some believe that because I have a social work background and teach parenting strategies that every moment with my children must be a climactic Brady Bunch teachable moment. Poppycock.

I worked in hospice for 5 years and the humor of some of my colleagues was pretty dark but it was also a healthy way of managing the very difficult issues of death, dying and grief that we faced each day.

One of the funniest running jokes in our house is that everything is Zach’s fault. Zach, my oldest, spent the first 13 years of his life blaming everyone else for his actions. He would tease his brothers and say their “No, stop it” wasn’t specific enough. He’d hit them and say, “He started it.”

So I started blaming him for every thing I did. As soon as he got the message things changed dramatically in his thinking and now he even perpetuates the joke. If dinner gets burned he jokingly says, “My fault” with a smirk on his face. He understands he isn’t being blamed. This joke has become a reminder to all of us about the power of personal responsibility and its taught through humor.

The power of the unexpected

My humor isn’t random its purposeful. I make a point of saying things NOT to shock but because they’re unexpected. When things get too serious people have a way of getting stuck in that feeling. If they stay too long its harder to get out. What makes it easier is to take your mind in a completely different direction and humor does that.

At any given time of day we encounter people in various states of anxiety, sadness etc. Some of them simply need to be given the opportunity to feel happy. If even for a moment. Humor does this.

Cathy (my wife) reminds me often that laughter is one of the strongest components of our marriage. Humor allows us a way to support each other in times of stress, sadness as well as in the joyful moments of life.

Humor is one of the keys of resilience. Many comedians find their greatest humor in the most difficult moment of their lives.

As a cancer survivor, an adult with special needs who is raising children with challenges of their own, I’ve noticed that each major difficulty I’ve gotten through has made my humor even sharper.

Zach has endured horrible bullying by teachers and peers alike. What he’s also experienced is how Cathy and I model humor as a means for weathering the most difficult times of life.

Zach is discovering his sense of humor and has us in stitches regularly. He’s going to be just fine because he has one hell of a tool box.

I’ll leave you with this nugget I posted on Facebook a while back that got a huge (positive response) . . .

A guy from Comcast rang my doorbell at 7:40pm to show me how Comcast could save me money on Internet & cable.

I wanted to show him how a chihuahua could bite the nuts off a guy who rings my doorbell at 7:40pm.

Thanks for being you.