Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Remember to Laugh

A senior citizen in Florida buys a brand new Mercedes convertible. He takes off down the road, floors it to 80 MPH and enjoys the wind blowing through what little hair he had left on his head.

“This is great,” he thought as he roared down I-75. He pushed the pedal to the metal even harder. Then he looked in his rear view mirror and saw a highway patrol trooper behind him, blue lights flashing… siren blaring.

“I can get away from him with no problem,” thought the man, as he beared down on it some more, and flew down the road at over 100 MPH… 110… 120 MPH. Then he thought, “What am I doing… I’m too old for this kind of thing!”

He pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the trooper to catch up.

The trooper pulled in behind the Mercedes, and walked up to the man. “Sir,” he said, looking at his watch, “my shift ends in 30 minutes and today is Friday. If you can give me any reason why you were speeding, that I’ve never heard before, I’ll let you go.”

The man looked at the trooper and said, “Years ago my wife ran off with a Florida state trooper, and I thought you were bringing her back.”

The trooper replied, “Sir, have a nice day.”

So, are you laughing? LOL… At least smiling? Doesn’t it feel great?

I just spent the last two hours reading jokes and one liners and my face hurts from smiling. I am feeling really good right now. No wonder laughter is described as the best medicine. We all love to laugh… it changes our chemistry, it releases our tension, it brightens our day.

Personally, laughter reminds me not to take myself and life so seriously. I can be very focused, maybe even too intense, about what I am working on in any given day. This intensity coupled with a sense of urgency to “Get things done,” often leaves me forgetting to laugh. Too many days without laughing and we get cranky.

Kids laugh! We’ve all seen micro videos of babies laughing. It is a physical expression of pure joy. Do you know that feeling? Nothing works faster to bring your mind and body into balance. The healing powers of a belly laugh trigger healthy physical changes. It boosts our immune system, releases endorphins, decreases pain and relaxes our entire body. But most importantly, a good laugh connects us to others and shifts our mindset to feeling positive and optimistic.

I will never forget a unique night of unabashed laughter with my dear friend Lenny Zakim. Lenny was dying. About a month before his death, Lenny and I had planned an intimate evening of pure fun. What Lenny purposely created for the two of us was truly a memory… a “Perfect Moment” of laughter. At that point in his illness, Lenny was in constant excruciating pain from cancer. He had discovered that laughter mitigated his pain and left him feeling as good as he could possibly feel. Laughter for him, was a powerful antidote.

That night we didn’t just laugh… we howled… we laughed until tears streamed down our cheeks. It was contagious. The more we laughed… the more we let go… the more we got out of our heads… the sillier we became. It was a wild, magically, fun night.

During this unforgettable evening of laughter with my dear friend, I asked him if he was teaching me an important lesson about how to approach dying. He passionately responded… that he wanted me to see that laughter was all about living!

Laughing with others builds strong relationships, it heals emotional and physical pain, it re-charges ones personal batteries, it dissolves stress and shifts our perspective of life to see situations as less threatening. Laughter is truly one of the “Secrets of Life.” Find people who make you laugh and howl with utter joy!

Happy Holidays! Remember this is the season to share laughter. Please feel free to post any short (clean) jokes in the spirit of joy.


  1. I have no idea how Lenny could have laughed with you the way he did...but he must have been a brave man who knew how to let things roll off his back. It's amazing, really.

    I tend to agree with the laughter part. (Even though my tone in this comment suggests I don't have a funny bone in my body.) It IS great medicine. I noticed there aren't any clean jokes posted. Hmmmm...that could be a problem these days;)

    Take care, Glenn...

  2. Andy, my friend Lenny was a remarkable man who lived his terminal years with mindfulness and passion for each moment. To say it was extraordinary is an understatement. He had the ability to create memories and perfect moments for everyone he touch. But it was his ability to laugh,sometimes howl,in the face of death that really set him apart as an evolved soul.

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