Laughter is the Best Medicine

Using humor to influence others | Jim Jelinske | TEDxDubuque

Translator: Denise RQ
Reviewer: Elisabeth Buffard We are all given this gift that we have
in laughter and in humour, but what happens to all of us as adults
is sometimes we repress that and we forget to play. Why humour? Because it works. It is the most essential human tool
that we have in that little invisible toolbox
that we carry with us each and every day. It sparks creativity, it brings joy in anything that we do. It engages us
as human beings no matter where
we are from right no matter what we do, our nationalities,
our age… The super glue
that holds us altogether, I would argue, is humour. And humour has nothing to do
with jokes. By a show of hands,
how many of you remember and tell jokes well
100% of the time? Raise your hands.
2 % of the population! (Laughter) Most of us forget the punch line, we laugh before it’s over… (Laughter) But if I asked you all,
sitting in here today, how many of you believe
you have a good sense of humour, you would raise your hand. It’s not about jokes. It’s about an enthusiastic way
of looking at life. Each and every morning
that we wake up, we choose what glasses
we want to wear. There are many human beings
that wear the dark ones, where everything they look at
is dismal and grey and negative and down. And then there are those
who wear the rose-tinted ones. And no matter what they look at. It’s just a little bit brighter,
a little bit better. It’s humour that connects us all
as human beings. It provides the depth to the relationship that no one understands until you begin to laugh
with another human being. And that memory is there forever. When you see that person
a year later, you bring back that
humorous situation that occurred. Humour could equal love. Because love is a connection,
and so is laughter. What we begin to love is taller than we stand and
louder than we can speak. Because sometimes we have a hard time
with that word, don’t we? Some of us want to say it,
but we don’t know how. Some of us say it,
but we don’t mean it. We all know that love is
truly what connects us all together. So the gift that we have in laughter is that depth of relationship. Now in connecting
with another human being, we all know that what’s funny to one
is not funny to another, yes? Absolutely! Because each one of us,
as I say, become different I love this book because it reminds me
sometimes of how we all begin. Just a blank colouring book
with no pictures. The wonderful thing
about all of us is as we grow and we begin
to experience life, we put these wonderful lines that make that picture ours. What truly gets us to the level
where we want to get to is the simple gestures in life. A smile.
An act of kindness. Comfort from another human being. And what it does, is that it colours in each and every one of those pictures for each and every one of us. If this is entertaining you, you probably need
to get out more often. (Laughter) Some of you are like … (Laughter) This is what it’s about! We all bring humour
to the table differently. And in humour, what’s funny to one
is not funny to another. In all humour that I’ve studied
over the years, we know that there is
forbiddens in humour. Each one of us in this room has what we call “forbiddens”; and comedians use this at times and sometimes we may be
at a work place where there’s an use of humour that is kind of off-colour, if you will. Well, people that use
too many forbiddens in their humour are people that we call
dirty, gross, immoral people. People that don’t have any
forbiddens in their humour are people we call cold, uptight, humour-constipated, if you will.
(Laughter) You know they want to let go
but they can’t! (Laughter) but sometimes we have to test
those forbiddens, do we not? Absolutely. I’ve worked with workplaces
over the last 10 years, in communicating and
how we work together. And it would be my belief and
I would state to you today that great workplaces
create the conditions that make them wonderful. That’s true,
it’s a fact. Look, can you imagine? (Laughter) Just for a moment! (Laughter) As he drives around the streets, imagine the feeling that he has of joy! And tell me you won’t buy
that guy’s plumbing! That’s a condition, is it not? Absolutely.
Now you go to a dentist’s office. You’re afraid of the dentist
and you’re a little child. And you see these two wonderful
dental hygienist who have a sense of humour, which equals love,
compassion and joy. That’s where we can get to. Look, in the early 1980s, I went to my first
Ringling Brothers & Bailey circus. The attraction during that,
it was not the elephants, not the high-wire act,
it was clowns! I studied and I was passionate
about the fact that if I could dress as a clown, I could become
a character of laughter, a giver of love. And In the 80s, it was okay
to be a clown. (Laughter) It was a joy for me. It was a pleasure,
it was an honour to be someone who could provide laughter. I worked in hospitals
with cancer patients. I worked in nursing homes. I worked in hospice. I saw the joy that we could bring with props, magic,
humour and laughter and jokes. It was powerful. In 1986, my world changed. My first son was born. Michael was born with a lot of issues. At three months, we thought we were going to have
a miscarriage. At 6 months, we were told that the baby was not growing
as it should. At nine months,
during a caesarean section, we were told to be prepared because we weren’t sure
if his lungs would be developed. At 09:02 on December first, 1986, we heard a scream. And at that moment,
I had joy and happiness. At 6 weeks, we were told
he wasn’t going to be normal, that he had a very rare growth disorder called Russell Silver Syndrome and that he would never
be taller than 5 feet. And he would never weigh
more than 100 pounds. He would be different. And I lost my sense of humour. I lost my joy. 5 years later, at a park,
I found that joy again. I took Michael to the park,
he was on a swing. Some little boys came up to him
and said: “Do you want to play?” You see, during that time,
I understood what the tears of the clown meant. Those little kids said,
“do you want to play with us?” I said “No honey,
I’m just sitting here.” They said “No, you ought to play.” and they brought me out, they gave me a stick, they said,
“It’s a magic wand. If you go up the tree,
that’s the castle, that dog is a
fire-breathing dragon.” Then I went on that twirly thing
until I got sick. (Laughter) I began to sob, at that moment, because I understood what brings you
back from that stress. The biggest destroyer
of happiness in life is stress. And kids can bring it back. It’s kids.
It’s the opportunity to experience their imagination,
their creativity. And kids became my superheroes. My superheroes. They truly did. Because kids take risks, don’t they? (Laughter) Kids know how to have fun. (Laughter) Kids understand laughter
and kids understand play. But most importantly,
ladies and gentlemen, kids understand love. They understand the deepness of love. I would ask you all today, to connect with each other
through love. Deeper than you can imagine. Don’t wait. Do you think any of these people that were on that plane that day wait one second to get up
in the morning to say “I love you” to someone? I have this picture, it’s in my office. I look at it every single day. And I think about that day. And I wonder how many of those
3,000+ people may not have said “I love you” before they left for work
that day. Don’t wait! When you leave here today,
get on your phone and call someone
that you haven’t called before and tell them that you love them. Don’t wait. Because there’s
no guarantees in life. Marriage. Any guarantees? Buckle your seat belt up in your car? Any guarantees?
Life’s a crapshoot, man! Could someone walk in here, tell
you have a very important phone call and that phone call change
your life forever? Right now! So say “I love you” to someone today. I’m going to call my dad
when I’m done here and say, “Dad, I love you.” He’ll say, “Have you been drinking?” (Laughter) We will have connected
at that moment. Say “I love you” to somebody. I leave you with this: in all of my time in looking for
the greatest prop that there was around, the greatest prop that could be, I found it in something simple: I used magic tricks,
I used juggling clubs, I used every type of object
I could think of to make people laugh, but there was
only one that was universal. No matter where I go
in the United States, no matter where you go
in the world, it is a universal way to
connect with another human being. So I would pass this on
to you, a gift. A gift of laughter. You see, I bring this box
with me wherever I go. It is only in this gift
that we can truly be one. (Laughter) And know that when you are wearing it, you have love. Thank you very much. (Applause)

3 thoughts on “Using humor to influence others | Jim Jelinske | TEDxDubuque

  1. When he said you have to pick which pair of glasses you have to wear, I said to myself, "but I only have one pair so now what?"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *