DON’T FORGET THE POWER OF HUMOR

Lots of people like Donald Trump and lots of people don’t.  After all, he can be confrontational.  He can show flashes of genuine anger.  He Tweets.  One of the times he unifies people is when he is genuinely funny.  That’s worth thinking about.

One of the best examples was President Trump’s speech at the Alfred E. Smith Dinner, back in 2016.  The dinner raises funds for Catholic Charities supporting needy children of the Archdiocese of New York.  Melania Trump had recently come under fire for giving a speech that was similar to one given by former First Lady Michelle Obama.  President Trump pretended to complain to the assembled dignitaries and journalists that the coverage of his wife was biased and unfair.  “Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it.  It’s fantastic. They think she’s absolutely great,” he said.  “My wife Melania gives the exact same speech, and people get on her case.  And I don’t get it.  I don’t know why.”

Any tension in the room evaporated.  Republicans and Democrats laughed and applauded.  The President had found something to say that just about anyone would find funny. And that was a gift to everyone.

You know what it takes to poke fun at yourself or your spouse, for a good laugh?  It takes warmth.  It takes self-confidence.  And it takes a basic appreciation of the fact that we really are all in it together, even if we fight hard with one another over our ideas and ideals.

Lots of people still remember Ronald Reagan’s well-timed joke during one of his presidential debates with Walter Mondale during 1984.  Reagan, who was 73, was asked if he was too old to be President.  “I will not make age an issue of this campaign,” Reagan said, flatly. “I am not

going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”  Pure genius.  Someone too old to think of his feet could never have come up with it or delivered it so well.  Even Walter Mondale laughed.

Think about that:  Even Reagan’s opponent for the highest office in the land laughed along with the rest of America.

When it’s impossible to enjoy a lighthearted moment with people (including your adversaries), then you’re really at war with them.  But if you can laugh with them, you can work with them.  You can seek common ground with them.

Dr. Wayne Dyer, the motivational writer and speaker, put it this way, “It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either.”

Never forget the positive energy you can inject into a relationship or a room when you’re willing to joke about your own quirks, your own potential weaknesses or the differences of opinion you have with others.  Marriage is a little easier when there’s room for humor, especially during the tough times.  Parenting is easier.  Business partnerships are easier.  Life is easier.

Humor is human.  Don’t be afraid to be just that.  Human.

Dr. Keith Ablow

    

This blog was adapted from Trump Your Life, available on Amazon.com .

 

 

 

 

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