In my shower I have a portable, waterproof Bluetooth speaker linked to the Pandora app on my iPhone and tuned to a comedy channel. As I’m lathering, I’m laughing. My daily exposure to great jokes and hilarious stories during my brief stand-up time makes me smile. Plus, this tiny routine not only tickles my funny bone, it develops my sense of humor.
Jeanne Robertson — a recently deceased comic and professional speaker colleague — would say, “Look for the funny in the world.” She mastered her advice. Watch this YouTube video of her true story called “Don’t Send a Man to the Grocery Store.”
Developing a sense of humor or seeing “the funny” is great medicine. Even in dark times, dark humor raises our spirits.
True story. While attending a family lunch the day before a wedding, I was seated next to my wife’s cousin, the eldest of three children in her family. Her sister, the baby of the bunch, recently died from cancer. This was our first chance to really connect and talk. Leaning toward her at the plated lunch, I softly checked, “How are you doing since your sister died?”
Shaking her head with continuing grief, she replied, “Kevin, I hope you never have to experience burying a sibling.”
To which I replied, “I hope I do.”
Taken by the befuddled looked on her face, I added, “There’s only two of us,” an oblique reminder that my parents had just two boys. She thought for a moment and then broke out laughing.
Does the world, your country’s politics, a strained family relationship, or something more personal related to your health or job or finances have you discouraged or disheartened? Did one of your team members just make a monumental mistake that cost the company a customer or an expensive re-work or a missed deadline with penalties?
Remember that comedy and tragedy in inextricably linked. It’s been said that “Comedy is tragedy plus time.” Developing a sense of humor isn’t just to make others or yourself laugh. Your longterm choice ultimately comes down to bitter or better. Embrace comedy’s therapeutic value and learn to find the funny. Or, you can just take a shower and be all wet.