A point of View ©1996.
A Little of this and a little of that. Humor as a remedy.
By Paul V. Montesino, PhD, MBA, ICCP
It’s been said that laughter is the best medicine. But the remedy doesn’t have to be necessarily noisy or raucous. It’s enough if we can only crack a smile and carry it in our souls. The famous band leader Lawrence Welk used to close his popular program with this sound advice: “Carry a song in your heart.” The prose of living becomes poetry with music. What could be healthier?
My country of birth, Cuba, was very prolific when it came to comedy and comedians. We used to find solace in humor when life treated us hard. How else could you stand decades of communist horror and seeing millions living in exile unless you could substitute a tear with a smile? I am not sure if that characteristic was inborn or imported from our Spanish ancestors, because Spain was also fertile ground when it came to comedy.
Humor finds the comic hidden in the tragedy. It helps us withstand and explain the knocks of life and death when religion fails without losing our… sense of humor. The most famous piece of literature in Spanish is still “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes, a book that was trying to finish all books of its genre, Walking Cavalry, in its time, and used humor to accomplish his mission.
I have reached many times for humor in my writings when common sense or education is not sufficient to explain to my readers, but also to myself, the basic reason for the unexplained examples of human behavior that my journalistic limitation tries to explain. It isn’t that I am trying to be funny, It’s that I am trying to survive and keep my sanity.
Only a few weeks ago, I wrote an article about the new year that tried to use the three-hundred-sixty-five-day rotation of our planet around the sun as an example that suggested we skip January 1 as the start of the journey and open the entire calendar as another option.
I thought that my idea had some merit, but now recent news about our planet has made me wonder. It seems that the core of the planet is rotating at a speed different from the shell. In other words, to make the example easier to understand in human terms, the best way to explain it, if you pardon my humor, planet earth is suffering from constipation.
Hard to believe? Hold the horses. If you take into account the frequent examples of multiple shootings, violent political upheaval in more than one country, wars between neighbors, and millions of our own specie leaving the home where we were born to die elsewhere, we have to be convinced that these words Don Quixote de la Mancha used to warn his partner Sancho Panza, “Sancho, this smells and not to Ambar”, when they hid in fear from brigands who chased them, still apply.
And that is my Point of View Today. So long.
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