Tuesday, May 10, 2005
It is an often ignored fact that it is very hard, if not impossible, to actually tickle oneself into laughter. Go ahead, try, and see how successful you are at it. Not much luck? It's my best guess that it was built into our genetic wiring from the very beginning; it is just another reaffirmation of the need for one another.
From the magazines we purchase to the television advertisements we watch, there is a silent and somewhat sinister effort to leave us uneasy, unsatisfied, unfulfilled. We are told that we always can look better, smell better, do better and be better. And when we get there, there's something new that then tells us there is another level to reach. And the uneasiness creeps in again...
We spend years telling our growing children, "You're fine. You look fine. You're fine just the way you are." And we believe it. We realize that our children are not placed in this life to be just like and think just like us. And yet, sometimes we don't believe that about ourselves. We focus quite a bit on how others will view us and how others will think about us. And we consciously and unconsciously attempt to adhere to the standards around us - those we are bombarded with each day.
But just as we can't tickle ourselves until we fully laugh out loud, we can't solely make ourselves into something we are not. It is others that help to bring out the original beauty and friendship and grace that is already present. We typically don't smile at ourselves in the mirror, but it is hard to restrain a smile when we see a friendly face of another. We typically can't tell a joke to ourselves to easy our stress, but the same joke off the lips of another has a profound and humorous effect on us. And did you ever realize that most of the itches we have, we can't reach by ourselves?
We are social beings, my friend. We're meant to act and interact. And although Valium and Prozac can assist in various situations, we can't do it all on our own and with medications. Sometimes the kind word, smiling face, and sympathetic ear of another can have the same or better effect.
So perhaps it's time we stop ignoring one another and start tickling each other a little more. But if it's someone you don't know, be sure to ask before tickling (smile).
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