Karyn Buxman

Catching Up With Karyn

Posts Tagged 'AATH'

Become a Student of Humor (Day 13)

It was eight o’clock on a Monday morning and I was lost in thought about the day’s events when suddenly a rhythmic thumping noise brought my seven-year-old to mind.

“Adam!” I called out. No answer.

“Adam!” I called again. Still no answer.

Now a mom-on-a-mission, I bounded up the stairs. As I approached Adam’s room I could feel the “Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!”

I opened his door and there was Adam—jumping up and down on his bed— wearing nothing but his underwear and a big smile . . .  . . . swinging his school clothes over his head… singing and kicking and dancing!

I lost it! “What do you think you’re doing?”

Adam stopped mid-jump, grinned a huge grin, and with the “wisdom of Yoda,” said, “Don’t ya think gettin’ dressed in the morning oughta be more fun?!”

My first response?  “NO!!!”

My next response? “No more of Mommy’s motivational tapes for you, young man!”

But moments later, the humor and wisdom of my son got through to me, and I marveled at his ability to find laughter and delight in such an ordinary task.

Children have little problem finding humor in day-to-day life. However, by the time you become an adult, to experience more humor in your daily life, often takes more purpose and intention.

Today’s challenge: Become a student of humor.

There are lots of ways to become a student of humor—you can find information about the how and why of humor in books, articles, studies, websites, ezines… But if you’d like to streamline the process, I have a shortcut for you. There’s an incredible non-profit organization I have found incredibly valuable: the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.

This organization is the community for those who study, practice and promote healthy humor. They have numerous resources on their website, a monthly e-zine with the latest updates in therapeutic and applied humor, and an annual conference which brings like-minded people together from around the world. AATH even has an emersion program called Humor Academy, a 3-year course on the theory and application of humor (available for graduate credit). You can also find AATH on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

There are other organizations like the International Society of Humor Studies (ISHS) and World Laughter Tour (WLT) that provide additional online content and conferences. I have tips & resources that I send to my tribe monthly in an ezine called LevityWorks. (You can sign up here).

Today’s challenge: Become a student of humor. Look for at least one resource that will help you reinforce the lessons of humor, after the challenge is completed, and on an ongoing basis.

That’s it! Congratulations for committing to another day. I hope you’ll join me tomorrow for the next humor challenge. I’m Karyn Buxman reminding you to create a humor habit and reap the benefits. Humor is power!

Neurohumorist Karyn Buxman’s mission in life is to enhance global business, improve global health, and achieve global peace through strategic humor. See all Humor Challenge blog posts and videos at www.KarynBuxman.com/30-day-humor-challenge-2015


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In Loving Memory: Dr. William Fry, Jr.

Bill fryHow do you say goodbye to someone who has not only touched your life, but touched the world? When I saw the return address on the envelope in my mail this morning, I immediately knew. It’s been over a year since I’ve heard from William (Bill) or (daughter) Susan. But July is not the time they’d be sending a Christmas card. I intuitively knew that Susan was writing to tell me that her dad (my friend and colleague) had passed away.

My mind was immediately flooded with selfish memories—and guilt. I’d visited Bill about a year ago, and I had planned to go again this spring. But I was busy. Too busy to go see someone who meant the world to me.

The world knows William Fry as a renowned psychoneuroimmunologist who was a pioneer in the field of applied and therapeutic humor. His scientific studies on humor and laughter are too numerous to mention here. But his thirst for knowledge, his dedication to science, and his love of humor led him to be one of the most widely recognized experts in the field. One of his most treasured awards was the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.

But if you are not one of the fortunate to have known Bill—the father, the husband, the grandfather, the colleague, the friend—then please read on. Bill was married for sixty years to the love of his life, Betty, who passed away a few years ago. And he leaves behind three children: Peter, Stephen, and Susan, as well as six grand children. Bill traveled the world and made friends everywhere he went. Most of us knew of his plethora of writings on humor and laughter, but he also wrote on a broad range of topics—from children’s stories and poetry to string theory!

bill fry awardI smile remembering our last visit: he was kind enough to put me up at his home. Despite the fact that he was pushing ninety, he scampered up and down the steps of his three-level house like a 10 year old. And while his body was bent and showing the signs of his years, his eyes twinkled and his wit was a sharp as a scalpel.

We spent hours as he proudly showed me his extensive library; its shelves extended so high that you needed a ladder to reach the top levels; and the books reflected his broad range of interests and expertise. I also learned that Bill’s daughter Susan is a chip off the ol’ DNA block!

On New Year’s Day this year I was hit with the flu (no, not a “Bar Flu”) and Bill had called to wish me “Happy New Year!” I didn’t whine, but I did tell him that I was under the weather. Well, two days later a small box showed up with his return address with a bottle of aspirin and a bottle of Pepto-Bismol, and a card with no name, just a smiley face. Despite the fact that I still felt lousy, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

How do you say goodbye to someone who has touched your life so significantly? We can’t tell them all the things we wish we’d said before they died. Years ago, my friend and colleague, Hope Mihalap, encouraged me to practice living eulogies. “Don’t wait until after someone has died to let them know how much they mean to you. Tell them all the good stuff before they die.”

I feel grateful that I had let Bill know how much he meant to me last time we spoke. But I am even more motivated to tell those who are still with me how much they mean to me. How could any of us be too busy to do that?

To all of you (and you know who you are) who are still reading this far—thanks for being part of my life. And to Bill…I miss you and will continue to share your good works and your laughter with the world.

In loving memory

William Finley Fry, Jr.

March 25, 1924-May 16, 2014


In love and laughter,

Karyn Buxman

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