Archive for September, 2012

Laughter

September 21, 2012

Humor helps us to think out of the box.  The average child laughs about 400 times per day;  the average adult laughs only 15 times per day.  What happened to the other 385 laughs? —Unknown

     This morning I watched a commercial for Volkswagen on the morning television show.  The VW logo is displayed at the end of the short commercial and the entire spot is nothing more than people of various ages laughing.  As I watched I was reminded of all the times I’ve been engaged with people – at home, at the theater, at someone else’s home, in school, everywhere – who were enjoying the good feelings we get when we laugh.  

    Let’s consider together that last line in the anonymous quote:  “What happened to the other 385 laughs?”

    Do you laugh often enough?  Do you laugh with your children?  Do you laugh often enough to take advantage of the health benefits of laughter?

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Holding a Grudge

September 13, 2012

I believe that everyone in this world at some time has been angry with another person and sometimes that person might be someone who is close to us.  I have seen people become so consumed by the negative feelings that the people part company and one (or sometimes more than one) person holds those negative feelings tightly never really getting past the substance of the conflict.  Take a look at that situation through the eyes of two parents watching their children at play in a park (the story was first printed in the Boston Globe by Linda Weltner: 

Two children get into an argument, and one says to the other, “I hate you!  I’m never going to play with you again!”  For a few minutes, they play separately, and then they are back sharing their toys with each other.  Ms. Weltner remarks to another mother, “How do children do that?  How do they manage to be so angry with each other one minute, and the best of friends the next?”  The other mother answers, “It’s easy.  They choose happiness over righteousness.”’  (from How Good Do We Have To BE? by Harold Kushner.

Now, what will you choose when conflict enters into an important relationship?  Happiness?  Righteousness?  Revenge?  Retaliation? Forgiveness?  And, while you hold tightly to those negative feelings, do you feel better?  A priest speaking to a Marriage Encounter conference told us all that holding negative feelings over time can be compared to having a red-hot coal in the palm of your hand.  At some point, you might want to realize that the one being burned is not that other person – it’s you!!

One Kind Word Makes a Difference

September 6, 2012

“In the moving little book ‘Random Acts of Kindness’, one anonymous contributor tells her story:  ‘I grew up in what we would now call a dysfunctional family.  My parents materially were quite well off, but we lived amidst emotional chaos and confusion in a wealthy suburb of Philadelphia.  As with most children, I simply assumed that this was the way it was and the problems, the undercurrents of anger and hostility, were somehow my fault.  One day when I was still very young, after a particularly painful and confusing series of interactions with my parents, our maid took me aside to talk to me.  She told me that she did not care if it cost her her job, she just could not continue to be a silent observer.  She told me that my parents were crazy, that they were acting very badly and not at all like good, loving parents should act toward their children.  She told me that I was a good, sweet girl and that the situation was not my fault . . . It was an incredible gift.  Her words gave me the explanation I needed, a way to stop blaming everything on myself.‘  Because guilt and shame grow out of our perception of what ogther people think about us, that message of acceptance and validation is often all we need to conquer them.”  -From Harold Kushner’s book:  “How Good Do We Have To Be?”

Do you know someone – some child – who needs to hear just one little encouraging word to help him or her to throw off feelings of shame or guilt and begin to live lives filled with a new view of self?  Can you take a moment to share some positive insightful thoughts with one of our little ones?  Do you know that your taking that small step could make ALL the difference in the growth and development of a young one?  Yes, ALL THE DIFFERENCE!