Stop Global Whining with Loretta LaRoche
By: John Shepler
Loretta LaRoche is on a campaign to save us from ourselves. Apparently what you've heard is true. Society is really decaying, everything is worse than it's ever been, the world is certainly spinning down to an ignominious end, and, what's more, you may have only a few minutes left!
No wonder we sit terrified in front of the evening news, eye every stranger with suspicion, expect asteroids to fall on us, and drive like wild people. It's everybody for themselves. You can't even get them to listen. As soon as you try to warn people that their double burger with cheese may have it's heritage in some insane bovine, they brush you aside. Their job is miserable, their kids hate them, their bodies are riddled with biological time bombs from second hand smoke to excess sun over the last 40 years. It's just awful...and they may have only a few minutes left. So, get out of the way!
Is stress getting to be just a little too important in our lives? Do we revel in our misery perhaps just a little too much? Have we twisted things around now so that unless we're really suffering we don't feel important? Worse, have we backed ourselves into such a corner that we'll never get away from all this stress...at least not alive? Or, is there some faint glimmer of hope? Loretta LaRoche will laugh in your face and tell you it's all up to you.
We really do inflict a lot of our own misery. It's gotten so bad now that we need humor consultants to reconnect us with what we knew instinctively as children. Loretta points out that we experienced 400 good laughs every day at age 4. As adults that's down to 15. Her company, the Humor Potential, provides seminars to companies and other organizations to help us regain that ability to energize ourselves with laughter.
You might recognize the name Loretta LaRoche, and you'll certainly recognize her on sight. She is the only woman on PBS wearing a Viking helmet. It's either the helmet or the Groucho Marx glasses that she wears in traffic. Why? It seems that other drivers are happy to let her pull in when they notice the Groucho getup. The Viking helmet would probably only work in a convertible, but on that convertible would be her bumper sticker that says: "Stop Global Whining."
Loretta takes a different view toward stress than most of us. We wrestle with it, hide from it, fear it, and feel we're not important enough if it isn't weighing us down. Her approach is to "Humor Your Stress." That's one of her videos. Others are called "The Joy of Stress" and "How Serious is This?"
You think this is funny. Good! Negative stress is literally killing us. A good laugh will reduce blood pressure, improve digestion and release endorphins and other natural pain-relieving hormones through your system. This has been reported in health magazines and is why it's always been said that "laughter is the best medicine." Loretta notes that "optimists live longer. Pessimists are accurate, but they don't live as long."
So what are we going to do about it? Well, we can continue our awfulizing and catastrophizing and keep the content of our daily conversations at the 75% negative level. Or, we can lighten up a bit. If the daily grind is just, well, a grind, then we need to find some funny stuff. Barbara found this web site called the "Barking Spider" published by Phillip Winn. He asks some interesting questions such as:
Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds? Does fuzzy logic tickle? Is there another word for synonym? If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?
Phillip also has a collection of useless inventions. How about a battery powered battery charger? Dehydrated water? Flashbulb tester? Leather cutlery? Reversible garbage disposal? Sugar coated insulin? Waterproof sponge?
Humor does not have to be mean spirited or at the expense of insulting a particular group. Some of the best laughs are just silly stuff that we can all get a kick out of. Even better are the little things that people can do to brighten each other's day. Like the manager who stapled a candy bar to the middle of a report he wanted his secretary to type. It had a note: "to give you energy to keep going!" That's one of the stories from another humor consultant, Sister Mary Christelle Macaluso. That's right, Sister Mary. She's known as the "Fun Nun." Her philosophy is that "humor is to life what shock absorbers are to a car. It can lesson tension; it's just a wonderful healing thing." She takes her inspiration from a line in Proverbs; "A joyful heart is the health of the body, but a depressed spirit dries up the bones." (17:22)
Well, what are we waiting for? Have we been "saving the good stuff for the right occasion" or waiting until things improve before we dare feel better? Perhaps right now is the best time to just up and laugh out loud. If you're near enough to hear, I'd even like to join in, if that's OK. :-O (LOL)
I'll leave you with a quote from Loretta LaRoche that puts life in perspective:
Yesterday is history.
This week, don't just have a good laugh...have a great one!
Books of Interest:
Relax - You May Only Have a Few Minutes Left by Loretta LaRoche. Imagine a cross between Erma Bombeck and Jon Kabat-Zinn. The result is Loretta LaRoche, star of the lecture circuit and PBS-TV. In this unique, hilarious, and practical book, LaRoche helps readers lighten up at work and at home, and, as she says, "find the bless in the mess".
Also visit Books-A-Million for an excellent selection of new books, magazines, e-books, audio books and more at low, low prices.
Also visit these related sites:
The Humor Potential- Loretta LaRoche's company offering seminars on laughter and stress reduction. They'll sell you the Groucho Marx glasses or their bumper sticker, "Stop Global Whining".
Copyright 1998 - 2018 by John E. Shepler. Contact me at: John (at) JohnShepler.com
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First Published: August 16, 1998 as part of A Positive Light