Issue No. 8
Cheerfulness, Optimism and Humor
Table of Contents
Cheerfulness, Optimism and Humor are three qualities that will make life
brighter while we face the difficult challenges of life. It prevents us
from being drained by problems. It gives us a sense of perspective, and
able to see life philosophically. It makes life fun to live.
Cheerfulness of disposition is a great source of enjoyment of life, and it
is also a great safeguard of character. It furnishes the best soil for
the growth of goodness and virtue. It gives brightness to heart and
elasticity of spirit. It is the companion of charity, the nurse of patience,
the mother of wisdom. It is also the best of moral and mental tonics.
- Develop the habit of cheerfulness. Cheerfulness is a habit or
a habitual attitude. In the same way that some people can be
habitually depressed, others can also be habitually cheerful. Their
normal psychological state is light, bright, and cheerful. It is
better to develop the second habit rather than the first.
- Make reminders to be cheerful. Draw a picture and a message
that you can see everyday, such as a smiling cartoon face, with the
words Mangoes Up! Bright, Cheerful, and Happy! Mangoes refer to your
cheeks, always up in a smile. Put this in your wall, your notebook,
your table. Whenever you see this cartoon face, you will tend to
want to smile spontaneously.
- Practice smiling. Take the effort to practice smiling. If your
facial muscles have not been trained for it, it will take sometime,
even months, to make smiling spontaneous.
- Appreciate the blessings of life. Life has its bright and dark
sides. While we acknowledge the existence of pain and sorrow, but we
must be able to constantly appreciate its blessings.
- There is always a positive side in every adversity, look for it.
Suppose you broke a valuable glass vase, you can look at it as a lesson
- The ultimate purpose of life is growth of the soul. Pain is a
necessary part of the growth of the soul. Therefore, when you undergo
suffering, you can be certain that your soul is being tested and it is
an opportunity for growth.
Humor is the mental faculty of discovering, expressing or appreciating
ludicrous or absurdly incongruous elements in ideas or situations. It
is something that we enjoy, and we derive amusement from it. Great men
and women invariably possess a healthy sense of humor. Laughing with
others brings us closer to them. Taking serious things playfully
can give often give us a better sense of perspective. Laughing also
releases pent-up emotional energy, thus relieving tension and stress.
Laughing can cure you of some illnesses.
Laughing is a sensation of feeling good all over and showing it
principally in one spot. If a man cannot laugh, there was a mistake
made putting him together. Genuine laughing is a vent of the soul,
the nostrils of the heart, and it is jut as necessary for health
and happiness as spring water is for a trout.
Laughter can relieve tension, soothe the pain of disappointment,
and strengthen the spirit for the formidable tasks that always
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, If I did
not laugh, I should die.
President Abraham Lincoln
Here are suggestions on how to develop a wholesome sense of humor:
- Read or listen to humorous stories or books. Ex. Reader's
Digests: Laughter is the Best Medicine.
- Try to remember a few jokes that you like and try telling them to
your kids or friends. Do not over dramatize your first attempts. Do
not be discouraged when people do not laugh at your first jokes. Try to
study the elements of an effective joke.
- Avoid jokes that can hurt or offend other people, or that disparage
other races, or nationalities. Examples are jokes on invalids,
facial ugliness, etc. Many jokes on sex can offend many people, and
hence should be used carefully.
- Learn to laugh at your own mistakes and blunders. It will
diminish your own insecurities and inferiority complex.
Example: When you laugh at the way you sing, you lose the fear of
embarrassment when joining others in fun.
If you cant take a joke, then you have to take the medicine.
- Cultivate a relaxed and fun-loving atmosphere in your home.
Share humorous stories at the dinner table with your family. Encourage
children to tell jokes and never sneer at their honest efforts.
Laugh and show your appreciation and enjoyment.
Copyright 1995. Permission to reprint is granted provided acknowledgment is made to:
Theosophical Society in the Philippines, 1 Iba St., Quezon City, Philippines
"If five percent of the people work for peace, there will be peace."