Is Laughter the Best Medicine for America’s National Mood Disorder? Part 3

 

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2017 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries  

Racism. It’s a word we all know but which has different meanings depending who is asked. 

Across the nation, in loud and undeniable terms, racism is seen as hatred. There are other words equally aligned with hate: homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and more. My question today is not whether these issues are matters of hate, but rather why do we associate them with hate? 

The surface answer is obvious. By excluding persons based on one characteristic, we are judging and condemning them. That’s certainly not nice, and more often than not is hatred.  I’ve heard people try to rationalize their prejudiced remarks by suggesting they do not hate, they only do not like those they denigrated. 

So what is the difference? If I do not like a fried egg, I will not eat it. If I hate fried eggs, I will tell people how horrible they are,  and use body language such as recoiling when I see one. In the extreme, I could say all eggs are horrible because some of them could be fried. 

Dislike, as unfair as it can be, allows freedom for people of all isms and beliefs. It leaves a little wiggle room for learning and growth.  It becomes hate if I think or suggest “those people” who do not agree with me ought to be gone, silenced, or stay on their side of town.

If I want to remove freedoms from persons or people groups based on their skin color, religion, sexuality, gender, age, or beauty, I am hating. Like love, hate is action.  Covert, thinly veiled discrimination is as much hate as overt violence and abuse. 

What does all this talk about racism have to do with laughter?

We raised bees when I was a kid, and there is nothing sweeter on the tongue than honeycomb. Kind words are like that. The power of kindness can heal a nation. “Gracious words are a honeycomb,  sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24)
 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” ( Proverbs 15:1) 
Wow, is that all over the headlines, or what? We know the anguish words can cause.  One practical way to heal our land is to enjoy a good laugh with (not at) each other.  People are funny!  
Instead of people-watching and poking fun or misery, how about people-greeting?  Almost everyone has a sense of humor discovered when we drop the walls and talk.  Instead of sitting at work, in church, in school, or on social media and griping, walk over (or tweet over) to someone who is different from you and greet them. 
We have more in common than not. There is much to bring us to a good laugh. Laughter is the best medicine when it comes from a hearty welcoming spirit.  
Today’s Helpful Word

Ephesians 4:29

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

 

 

**********COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

*crowd pic from pexels.com; man pic by BARUNPATRO on rgbstock.com

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