This I Believe

susie - mequon, Wisconsin
Entered on May 11, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
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I believe in the value of a sense of humor.I don’t know how i could survise without it. When i heard our minister sayi that the name Isaac means laughter,i thought if the word laughter is in the Bible,it would be worth writing about.

I think humor is about relationships — with ourselves,with others and the world .

It’s helped me appreciate the challenges in life which we all share and has enabled me to observe life through a slightly different lense.

Like most people,i could’ve called this essay”nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen”;certainly wars, divorce and illness ,among other things, will never be funny.And i’m not someome who can see humor in just about anything.But i have found that a sense of humor and the perspective that goes with it ,has helped me in good times and bad-sometimes only in retrospect- and opened the door to a richer life.

I grew up in an Irish Catholic home,the oldest of five children.I am told by all who knew my parents that they had a memorable sense of humor,though i have no memory of it in our house so i am grateful for the stories people have shared.My parents had a troubled marriage;financial concerns,and struggles with alcoholism and depression.There was little communication or joy and more tension than anythng else.Still,my siblings and i have inherited a “humor gene”,a self effacing sense of humor and a love of good storytelling.We’ve had our challenges but we are very close as adults and sharing humor has been an important factor in helping us stay in touch.

Humor is personal;what makes me laugh may not make you laugh but i’d like to share some moments that brightened my days:

* watching my 5 year old daughter read to our dog after dressing him in her clothes.The dog had just eaten all the Eastern Block countries from the family map.

* the 2nd grader who said as I taught, ,”It’s not going well for you today,is it Mrs Apple”.(At the end of the day, I received a gratifying vote of confidence from him)

* For over 15 years,I’ve shared a collection of humorous quotes,cartoons and news reports with friends.There are always many of them.

*Then there’s the day the house cleaner fell asleep in my house-was my house that dirty??

*in a hospital waiting room, a woman was being watched by the rest of us as she navigated,per instructions to “follow the red arrows to the green corridor to the orange elevator”.Everyone smiled ,knowing that we were next and we would be watched as we followed our directions to the unknown.

Finding the way,having a plan and getting some answers are worthy goals..I’m not there yet.But i hope to enjoy the ride with an open mind and heart,eager to observe and learn what it is that guides us through the day.I’m learnig that humor can be the lubricant that softens the difficult times and enhances so much of the rest of life!