Finding ways to laugh

Opinion

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Gwendolyn Crayton

After a great race for Proviso District 209 Board of Education, a look at the need for Forest Park Police at Proviso Central, and witnessing the political firing of the Proviso Superintendent, I thought I might try a simpler topic: let's laugh.

Although the Proviso issues give us little to laugh about, let's pray that our children improve their academic achievement despite the priority for politics, patronage, and purchasing power that plague our schools.

As we go about our daily routines, it becomes increasingly difficult to find something to laugh about. Can you remember the last time you laughed so hard that tears came to your eyesâ€"was it today, yesterday, last week, one month, or a year ago?

The complex issues of education, politics, war, terrorism, economics, employment, health, religion, abortion, stem cells, surrogate births, money, sex, law, injustice, space travel, family, race, civil rights, gay rights, prejudice, discrimination, love, marriage, death, and eternity cause us so much stress that we simply forget to take time to laugh.

I could write about each complex issue with my opinion on whether the issue is right, wrong, or inevitable. Perhaps in future articles, but I believe we let these complex issues monopolize our time and energy and decrease our days filled with happiness and laughter.

Regardless of the stressors, we need to laugh. My sister visited from Georgia this summer, and she spoke to people in Forest Park. Many people did not return her greeting; several spoke to her, and some gave a superficial smile and kept walking without saying a word.

With life so short, we need to be as happy as we can possibly be each day. Let's take time to genuinely greet people. You might say, "hello, how are you" to someone and they respond, "hello, I am not doing so good", and you say "great, I am doing fine, too! We usually do not listen; we routinely smile and move on to the next hurried project or person.

When we are confronted with life's difficulties and these complex issues, let's soften our hearts and find ways to allow humor to heal.

Take inventory of how often you, your family, friends, coworkers, church members, or strangers you meet greet each other with laughter. After reading this article, think about the events that caused you to laugh with joyful tears. Try to create events that encourage laughter within your circle of influence.

As the third oldest of ten children, I love to take pictures of the family! I say to them strike a pose; here we go. They laugh and the pictures are perfect. As you can see from my broad smile, I love to laugh and tell others to just call me smiley. What ritual do you do in your family to lighten life's load and laugh?

On the issues of education and politics, we have failing schools and corrupt politicians running the schools and municipalities; therefore, we need to find ways to live morally, ethically, and laugh.

Another sister in Illinois emailed me this passage to encourage laughter amidst complex issues:

Be on the lookout for seven terrorists in your office. Due to excellent intelligence work, six of the seven terrorists have been apprehended. Bin Sleepin, Bin Loafin, Bin Goofin, Bin Lunchin, Bin Drinkin, and Bin Brown-Nosing have been taken into custody. However, no one fitting the description of Bin Workin has been spotted. You are not a suspect; therefore, keep doing what you Bin Doin! And Let's Laugh.

If you have any additional school, community, or Township issues that you want to investigate, monitor, and get results, let me know your thoughts at http://craytonbychoice.tripod.com, gc11057@sbcglobal.net or (708)771-4273.

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