A few years ago, my daughter, granddaughter and I were in a craft store looking for some Halloween decorations. As we wandered up and down the aisles, my granddaughter came upon a bin full of tiaras. She was going through her princess phase, so this discovery sent her over the top of wowness and glee. With her Mom’s okay, I told her to select one. It was my treat. She did and promptly put it on. Hmmm. I figured I really ought to have a tiara myself. I asked my granddaughter to choose one for me, too.
These two tiaras would have made the most princessy of princesses envious. They were made of 14 carat plastic, embedded with brilliantly colored fake gem stones and plumed with fashionably flamboyyant faux feathers. Who wouldn’t want one of those? My granddaughter and I proudly wore our tiaras around the store until my daughter concluded her shopping.
When I returned home, I put my tiara in a drawer and forgot about it. Some weeks later I was feeling a bit out of sorts. There were some things that needed to be done around my apartment, but procrastination was the more pleasant option. At one point I went to retrieve something from a drawer. When I opened it, there was the tiara. I was sure I heard it speak. “Stop being such a grouch and put me on.” A talking tiara! Who knew? I put the tiara on. Instantly, I felt rather elated and proceeded to clean the bathroom.
Here’s the thing. Continuous research shows that humor and laughter promote good health and well being. As a matter of fact, this is rather ancient news. Aulus Cornelius Celsus was a Roman encyclopedist early in the 1st century. The only surviving volume of the encyclopedia is his medical treatise called De Medicina. One of the passages from this work talks about humor, exercise and proper diet to combat ill health.
There have been numerous philosophers, psychologists and physicians throughout the centuries who talk about the importance of play and humor. Thomas Sydenham, a 17th century physician said, “The arrival of a good clown exercises more beneficial influence upon the health of a town than twenty asses laden with drugs.” The Mayo Clinic has a terrific report on stress relief through laughter.
Of course, there are many books and articles available in the market on the benefits of humor, play, laughter. My point is that we can all be our own sitcom or our own humorist. It’s an opportunity to be creative, to play, to be whimsical and light-hearted. What makes you smile? What brings you joy? I really believe we all need a tiara. Maybe yours looks like a clown nose or those Groucho Marx glasses or whatever amuses you. Maybe you’ll want to select a color of the rainbow to slide down. Whatever style ‘tiara’ you choose will be good for your health and well being.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw