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After an extremely happy marriage of 60 years, my parents are both thankful for the time they have been together.
My mother is showing serious signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Her memory is deteriorating and she has become fearful of everything.
In a recent conversation with my dad about the situation, he told me with tears in his eyes that the worst for him is that she has permanently lost her smile.
The fear of the situation and the illness has robbed her of it.
We don’t really know exactly what happens in the body and mind when we smile, but psychologists suspect that smiling and, to a greater degree, laughter have a profoundly positive influence on our health and well-being.
As you know, we now have professional laughter consultants.
We invite comedians to our company functions to entertain us and we love movies that put smiles on our faces.
The deeper question is: why don’t we laugh more? Why are we so serious about life?
Your answer may well be that we now face increasing economic pressure, we have to perform at higher levels and life has just become so fast that there is less time to smile.
This may well be so, but if we lose that ability to laugh, smile and have fun, we will expedite our own demise. We will sacrifice our wellness and create disease at a mind-blowing rate.
The worst is that we won’t know how to heal ourselves as we will have “unlearned” our ability to smile and laugh.
As with most things in life, the “use it or lose it” principle applies. If we as a tribe unlearn the ability to laugh, the next generation will grow up without it and they, like us, will suffer because of it.
Then, one day far in the future, someone will show up with a bright idea of saving us from seriousness and will teach us how to smile.
Wouldn’t that be sad?
So, in a paradoxical way, get serious about laughter, fun and enjoyment. Give your face something to do and smile.
You may just save yourself from yourself.
l Contact Rinus Le Roux at email@example.com