Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Response to Violence

Is It Really?

Today I am reading entries on Facebook from some laughter/humor colleagues asserting that yesterday’s shootings at an elementary school are proof that we need more laughter. Here’s one, "If we'd laugh more, there would be less violence, wars, fight... and we all laughed... really hard..."

Oh, my!

I am reminded of the man in an early documentary video about laughter in India. His cure for the troubles of the world, “Laughter alone is the solution!”

Oh, my!

A good argument could be made that laughter, humor, and mirth have survival value. But, “laughter alone” is hardly the solution.

What image do such assertions project about the mission, passion, and work of World Laughter Tour, its thousands of members, and others who form the loosely organized laughter movement? Over-simplified short-hand figures of speech can be easily misinterpreted, and portray the movement as seemingly not very thoughtful, perhaps even overly zealous for laughter.

I urge you, my readers and members of the World Laughter Tour, to project a more reflective and considered position. One that appreciates complexity, but is not deterred from ideals.

Situations and events have multiple causalities.

For instance, when we seek to foster a dozen new intergenerational laughter programs next year, or next February, when I present a program of classroom activities and support for caregivers in early childhood education, or when we promote laughing toys for kids, it is not because we believe that laughter is the only best medicine.
A Tool, Not the Whole Toolbox

Laughter is like an electric drill, a tool that delivers a desired result: a hole in the right place at the right time. It is not the whole toolbox. When the Beatles sang “All You Need Is Love,” that was a figure of speech.  We recognize that love is an action verb, not merely feel-good emotion.

What we call laughter programs encompass tools and experiences for more positive emotions and attitudes (emotional education); positive engagement with life and positive relationships, through Good-Hearted Living, for example. We synthesize evidence-based information from science, Positive Psychology, and ancient practices, in clinical, educational, consulting, corporate, and volunteer work.

We help individuals use life energies to choose and modify their life and work directions. We help individuals identify emotional and attitudinal factors, many of which can be self-administered practices that improve health and increase life satisfaction and well-being for clients, patients, residents, students, employee, and others.

And, yes, we have fun doing it.

What's so funny? Sometimes, we can't exactly explain why we are laughing. That's OK. But, my over-riding mission is to give people good reasons to laugh such as a good job, reasonable income, healthcare, adequate food, freedom from pain and fear and chaos. Now, that's a world you can live with. To get ideas for love-in-action, please re-read "FULL-BELLY LAUGHTER" and pass it on.

We can imagine a better world. And, anything we can imagine we can make happen.

The advice that medical researcher Dr. Lee Berk so generously offered to me at the beginning of the World Laughter Tour, I now offer to you, “Don’t ever get discouraged. You are doing the right thing.”


Sunday, December 9, 2012

You may say that I’m a dreamer...

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
"Imagine" by John Lennon

I need your help. Thank you in advance, my dear blog readers.

Actually, I am trying to enlist you in furthering the mission of the World Laughter Tour: Together, we can lead the world to health, happiness, and peace through laughter.

The operative word here is TOGETHER. I can't do it alone.

Did you know that the logo of World Laughter Tour is called The Happy World?
Happy World

Thousands of individuals around the world are already carrying the mission forward. One of the ways we are doing this is by encouraging people everywhere to try my program called Good-Hearted Living(tm) [GHL].

GHL is the most WONDERFUL, POWERFUL method I have ever discovered for improving life satisfaction and well-being. Put into daily practice, people find they have more positive attitudes, more positive emotions, and more positive interactions with others. In other word, greater life satisfaction and well-being. This, in turn, greatly increase the likelihood of having more laughter in their lives, which brings a multitude of benefits for mind, body, and soul.

And, you can be part of the movement, too. Especially if know someone who is fluent in a language other than English.

First, a word about THANK YOU. One of the six parts of the program is the practice of gratitude.

My friend, Nekane DeLeniz, whom I met in Caracas, is beautiful spiritual teacher, a woman both wise and smart, with a heart of gold. She posted this on Facebook:

It inspired me to search for THANK YOU in other languages. With help from friends (and computer technology), I have been able to put together this list:
Bedankt (Dutch)
Ank-thay Ou-yay (Pig Latin)
Masha danki (Papiamento )
Todah rabbah (Hebrew)
grazie mille (Italian)
Sapcibo (Russian)
Dankon (Esperanto)
Diakuju (Ukrainian)
cume on (Vietnamese)
Arigato (Japanese)
Tak dig (Danish)
Kiitos (Finnish)
efharisto (Greek)
Takk deg (Norwegian)
Obrigado (Brazilian Portuguese)
Mahusu mahuyu (Guajiro)
Size Teşekkür Ederiz (Turkish)
Na gode (Hausa)
شكرا لك Shukran (shoe-cron) (Arabic)
感谢您 (Xie Xie: Chinese)
Σας ευχαριστώ (Greek)
आपको धन्यवाद देता हूं। (Hindi)
감사합니다. (Korean)
ขอขอบคุณที่คุณ (Thai)

Here's where you come in. You can help raise the GRATITUDE consciousness of people around the world by adding to the THANK YOU list (send me you additions, please) and distributing it everywhere.

Here's something else we can all do. Through the kindness of friends, the basic instructions for the GHL program have been translated into English, Mexican Spanish, Chilean Spanish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Japanese. Nancy Jones even created a kid version. I have put them all into a single pdf file that you can have and you can distribute.

Copyright Disclaimer: Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

If you can help us get this translated into even more languages, we can touch even more lives and further the mission of a healthier, happier, and more peaceful --and laughter-filled-- world. Do you know someone who would translate this? Simply send them the file and have them send me their translation. They may contact me with any questions. I will keep posting the additional translations for you to distribute. Soon, the world will look like this:
I'm just saying...imagine...


PS I recently recorded a one-hour Webinar about GHL. You can get it, along with myriad extras such as videos, the slide images, and articles.