In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Monday, August 08, 2011

In Others' Words: Humor

"I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it." ~Frank A. Clark    

There are so many things wrong with the photo I found to illustrate this blog post, I had to laugh. 
You've got a parking sign pointing right.
And directly below that is a "Wrong Way" sign--and "Wrong" is spelled incorrectly. Or is it? Maybe the street name is "Wong." I don't know. Is "Wong" right--or wrong?
And then there's just a glimpse of a yellow sign right behind the blue signs also pointing to the right ... So can you or can't you turn right and find parking? I don't know. If I was driving in an unfamiliar part of town, those signs would spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
When I read the quote, I couldn't help but think about my older brother, Bobby. he was the only kid in the family who could make my mom laugh when she was angry. We would all be waiting on the wrath of mom to descend--and we probably deserved it--and Bobby would do something outrageous. Say something beyond ridiculous. 
And Mom would laugh.
Anger diffused.
So often when I'm faced with a problem I go all tense. I've got to solve it. Now. Nobody interrupt me until I figure this--whatever it is--out.
Think about your favorite suspense movie. The anxiety is ratcheted as high as it can get, you can barely breathe. And then--something funny happens. Tension diffused. (I remember watching one scary movie that had this silly magician's bunny hop across the screen at these odd moments. I don't remember why. But I do remember laughing. And catching my breath.) You realize how much you needed that moment of laughter to be able to finish the movie.
Life's like that too. A moment of humor, a bit of laughter, can help you regain perspective and solve the seemingly unsolvable.

In Your Words: Can you laugh in the midst of problem solving -- or do you have a strictly enforced "No Humor" policy until everything is resolved? Can you think of a time when humor helped you solve a problem?

photo by shirleybnx/        

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At 2:36 AM, Blogger Jeanne T said...

Beth, what a fun picture. Another perspective revealing post. As I read it, I was challenged to think about humor in the midst of my "problems." I tend to be more serious, so coming up with humor in the middle of a situation is hard for me. However, there have been times when one of my kids or a friend have helped diffuse the "serious" and help me gain a greater perspective, snapping me out of introspection. Thanks for the chuckle.

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Donna said...

Great insight and awesome picture! I also think that everything must stop until the problem is figured out. Infusing humor is the only way to get through it. Thanks for the reminder!

At 8:12 AM, Blogger Wendy Paine Miller said...

Laughter is my first go-to during problem solving. It's medicinal...doesn't the Bible say that?

~ Wendy

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Good Monday morning, all!
Without a doubt, the week has problems--both little and bit-ahead. Maybe we can all infuse some humor into our days. Right? Or wong? I mean, wrong.

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Reba J. Hoffman said...

Beth you are so right. Laughter does good like a medicine. And this message is so timely. I'm writing suspense and need to remember to write in times for the reader to catch their breath.
You, my friend, are BRILLIANT!

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Stacy S. Jensen said...

My motto during a medical drama in the family was "Laugh or cry." I always chose laughter. I strongly advocated for my late husband and have some very funny memories during one of the most trying times of my life.

At 10:47 AM, Blogger Heather Sunseri said...

I totally have to laugh at my problems. Sometimes, if I don't laugh, I'd cry. I like laughing much more.

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

I'm not brilliant, Reebs.I just know that laughter relieves tension. Sometimes you've got to cry. I know that too--but laughter is my favorite sound. (I'm with Heather on this--I like laughing more.)
And, Stacy, you are the wise one.

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Melissa Tagg said...

My coworkers are constantly saying, "You can laugh or you can cry." I generally choose laugh...because crying makes my nose turn red. And that's just not a pretty sight. :)

Love the post and the photo, Beth!

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Sarah Forgrave said...

Your brother sounds like my son. Whenever I'm trying to teach him a serious lesson, he makes a goofy face or cracks a joke (yes, he's three-and-a-half and cracks jokes already). Even though it drives me crazy sometimes, most of the time I find myself laughing and realizing I love his little personality. :)

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Sometimes it is a choice--laugh or cry. I told my daughter last night: Go ahead and cry. It's what you need to do. And then, after a time, I got a little silly with her and we giggled ... and cried some more. And giggled ... and cried some more.
That's life, isn't it?

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Keli Gwyn said...

Humor can be a big help. When my daughter and I butted heads during her teen years, my hubby, who is a high school teacher and expert on teens, suggested I resort to humor as often I could. He knows what he's talking about. Most of the time, if I lightened things up with a bit of humor, the tension eased.

At 4:42 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Couldn't agree more, Keli! I heard too many parents say, "I can't wait until my kid is 18 and out of the house!"
I had a relationship with my kids before they were teens--and I wanted one after the teen years too.
One of the ways we maintained our relationships was through humor (laughter). Game night, anyone?

At 10:52 PM, Blogger Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

Humor is medicine for the soul. As your post illustrates, you can't be angry or sad when you are laughing. Great way to release tension, and a relaxed mind is better equipped to reason.

At 12:39 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Great final thought, Cecilia: a relaxed mind is better equipped to reason.
Well said!


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