Special to 0-A News
Sunday, Nov. 28, 1999
by Walter Albritton

Life is more enjoyable when we do not take ourselves too seriously

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is a sense of humor. Develop it, work at it, all your life, so you can enjoy other people and be fun to live with.

A life devoid of humor is like a desert, hot and dry, with no water in sight. Tension takes over the humorless life, resulting in friction, anxiety, and restlessness. Those who must live with such a person are always thirsty for laughter.

The first step in developing a healthy sense of humor is to stop taking yourself so seriously. Just enjoy being the person God made you and stop entertaining visions of grandeur about yourself.

Accept the facts about yourself, whatever they are, and work from there. Be grateful for any blessings you have, and as a popular writer says, "Donít sweat the small stuff."

So you are not the smartest dude in town, just be glad that you are smarter than a rock. Some people, who are not smart enough to get out of the rain, must be dumber than a rock. Be content with the brains you have. There is a good chance you have not worn them out yet.

So you are not the best looking chick where you work, just rejoice that you are not a bald-headed blonde. And if you are a blonde, get a scrapbook and start saving all the dumb jokes about blondes that are circulating on the internet. There must be hundreds of them, jokes I mean. A certain greying brunette shares them with me daily. All the blondes I know keep those jokes to themselves, but I bet they enjoy them.

Avoid getting up tight about the behavior of other people. It is a full-time job trying to control your own behavior. When you make a stupid mistake, laugh at yourself. That is good therapy, like salve for the soul.

Before you can enjoy laughing with others, you must learn to laugh at yourself. Donít just smile and giggle; treat yourself to a belly laugh at least once a week. If you donít figure you make at least one mistake a week, then go see your doctor; you are really sick!

I love the way Ken Callahan tells about the way "Rule 63" came about. In the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill W. and Dr. Bob met with a hundred recovering alcoholics to develop a charter for the organization.

Eagerly, almost addictively as Ken describes it, the group formulated rule after rule until they had 62 rules and regulations. Suddenly they realized what they had done. "Their compulsiveness and addictiveness had run rampant in yet another way," Ken said. So, with good humor amid healthy laughter, they created Rule 63:

"We will not take ourselves too seriously."

Then wisely they scrapped the other rules and began the movement without the excess baggage of so many rules. The success of AA shows us how helpful "Rule 63" can be in all our lives.

If you are "the Boss" where you work, or even one of the bosses, Rule 63 will help you become a leader. On the other hand, if you are constantly having to remind everyone that you are "the Boss," you are in real trouble and no doubt too tense for your own good.

Observe the strings on a guitar or violin. They must be tightened in order to play well, but they will break if they remain tight all the time. Loosen up, be a real person, laugh a little, and lead by example.

There is wonderful freedom and joy in not taking yourself too seriously. Hard work soon becomes drudgery unless it is mixed with humor. But when the balance is right, life becomes enjoyable and other people delight in being around "fun" people. And if thatís not the truth, thereís not a dog in Georgia!