The Importance of Laughter

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Good afternoon:

With so little good news lately and our government poised to lay off 800,000 employees, one could be forgiven for reaching for the razorblades. So, I decided to to post something lighter.

This is Chapter 22 of my non-fiction book, Namaste: If Not Now, When?

The Importance Of Laughter

Just as perfection never is attainable, becoming a warrior is a never-ending developmental process. A key part of that process is laughter, particularly the ability to pop your bubble of self-importance by laughing at your own know-it-all self. Since I am married to Crane-Station, I do not have to worry about deflating my sense of self-importance, as she manages that chore rather well, ahem! And I do laugh, although not always at first.

The Mullah Nasruddin was invited to deliver a sermon. When he reached the pulpit, he asked the people,
Do you know what I am going to say?

They replied “no.”

“I have no desire to speak to people who don’t even know what I will be talking about!” the Mullah said, and he turned his back to the people and left the building.

Feeling extremely embarrassed, the people invited him back the next day. This time, when he asked the same question, they replied, “yes.”

Nasruddin said, “Well, since you already know what I am going to say, I won’t waste any more of your time!”
As he had done the previous day, he turned and left the building.

Now the people were really perplexed. They decided to try one more time and once again invited the Mullah to speak the following week.

As expected, he asked the same question, “Do you know what I am going to say?”

The people were prepared, so half of them answered “yes” while the other half replied “no.”

Without missing a beat, Nasruddin said, “Let the half who know what I am going to say, tell it to the half who don’t.”

Then he turned and left the building.

A warrior does not know when Death is going to reach out and claim his physical form. Therefore, he assumes that it can happen anytime. With that in mind, he decides what to do and when to do it focusing all of his attention, energy, and will on acting impeccably while he is doing it.

There is no time for remorse or second thoughts. A warrior accepts full responsibility for all of his decisions because he is literally ready to die for them.

He never sees himself as a victim and never wallows in self-pity.

He is never bored, resentful, helpless, bewildered or frightened.

Instead, his acts are focused and powerful because he never wastes energy or time reacting to what others say or do.

He never makes excuses because he understands that excuses are irrelevant and unnecessary when he does his best.

For a warrior there is time only for his impeccability.

Everything else drains his power; impeccability replenishes it.

He controls his destiny and he is happy and free because he is in charge of his life.

Because of the relationship he chooses to have with his death, he knows that no decision he makes is more or less important than any other. They are all important because each one might be his last.

Because of his focus and detachment, however, he also understands that they are all equally unimportant.

He sees his own imperfections and self-importance and he acquires power by laughing at himself. As he does, he sees imperfections and self-importance in others and their clueless pretensions, disorder, and confusion until one day when he realizes he has forever transformed and can never go back.

A renowned philosopher and moralist, who was traveling through the Mullah Nasruddin’s village one day, stopped and asked him where there was a good place to eat. Nasruddin suggested a place and the scholar, hungry for conversation, invited Nasruddin to join him. Much obliged, Nasruddin accompanied the scholar to a nearby restaurant, where they asked the waiter about the special of the day.

“ Fish! Fresh Fish!” said the waiter.

“Bring us two,” they answered.

A few minutes later, the waiter brought out a large platter with two cooked fish on it. One fish was quite a bit smaller than the other.

Without hesitating, Nasruddin speared the larger of the fish and placed it in on his own plate.

The scholar, giving Nasruddin a look of intense disbelief, proceeded to tell him that what he did was not only blatantly selfish, but that it violated the principles of almost every known moral, religious, and ethical system.

Nasruddin calmly listened to the philosopher’s extemporaneous lecture patiently, and when he had finally lapsed into a ruddy silence, Nasruddin said,

“Well, Sir, what would you have done?”

“I, being a conscientious human, would have taken the smaller fish for myself.”

“And here you are,” Mullah Nasruddin said, and placed the smaller fish on the gentleman’s plate.


Hello, everyone.

Producing articles and maintaining this blog requires substantial time and effort. Please take a moment and consider making a donation.

As you depend on us, we depend on you.

We need your help!


Fred and Crane

33 Responses to The Importance of Laughter

  1. ay2z says:

    Anti-funk movie clip. Pure silly and no hotel workers or parrots harmed in the filming. 😉

    (apologies for the ad)

  2. Malisha says:

    Because of the importance of Laughter, this:

    I reviewed Osterman’s book about Fogen in December 2012, under the title “This Makes Reality TV Look REAL” as follows:

    First, to be honest, I cannot say I read every word. Most of the words are repeats of words already used on earlier pages anyway. Suffice it to say that Osterman has shown that there IS someone who inspires an even greater desire to smack-upside-the-head than does the infamous (yet photogenic) George Zimmerman: his biographer, Author Osterman. I saw him on a TV interview before I read the book and that should have warned me to skip it. He has that kind of blank too-wide-eyed stare that says: “I am looking sincere now so you are obliged to believe me or you’re being impolite and you’ll go to Hell.” He and his wife and Zimmerman and HIS always appear to be play-acting and believe me, they shouldn’t waste money on their SAG dues.

    To start with there is boredom. This develops into a combination of outrage with stupifying, yet unintentional, hilarity. With another brain, Osterman would be a half-wit. About midway through the book you might find yourself really pitying prosecutors, judges and court clerks, because they have to actually sit and listen to drivel like this day after day after day after day…

    When you see this book in the thrift shop, save your 99 cents and buy that cracked blue china teacup instead. You’ll be glad you did.

    So I see now that there were several comments ON my review, one of which accused me of not knowing how to read, and the other saying I did not understand what a review was, and just wanted to insult the author because his side “won the trial.” Of course, when I wrote my review, the trial had not yet taken place!


    • Valerie says:

      @ Malisha…I don’t feel so bad now. Jack Cashill has a book coming out called “If I had a Son”. The title is a dig at Obama statement regarding Trayvon. Cashill gives high accolades to the treehouse for their contribution to the exoneration of Fogen. I wrote a review and referenced an article …Jack Cashill Condones Murder. I received the exact same criticism as you…

  3. pat deadder says:

    This is a story as told by Joe Casey a resident of the small province of my birth.Mr.Casey was born in 1918 and served as a Liberal member of Parliament for 6 terms from 1970.
    Anyway ”In the spring of 1925 the Liberals were annihilated in the general election in Nova Scotia.They lost every seat but one. As the new Tory government swept into power,the first thing they did was to fire all the road foreman and others who held political jobs.These jobs went to their Tory friends.At that time with the roads unpaved,they turned into a sea of mud when the winter frost came.
    One of the fired road foreman was from the small village of Iona.
    He could see no future there ,so went to Boston for a more promising future.He landed a job immediately and on Saturday he went to the post office and asked the mail clerk if he had any mail from Iona She asked Where in the name of heavens is Iona.To which he asked Do you mean to tell me you don’t know where Iona is.No she replied I don’t know what state it’s in.
    He then said It’s in a helluva state mud clear up to your ass and everybody voting Tory.
    His stories were endless and us kids loved to eavesdrop when he told them to the adults.

    • bettykath says:

      Great story. That’s what Tories do.

      Our local highway superintendent is elected. He does a good job. Make that “great” job. The rest of the elected officials, not so good. They’ve never seen a corporation they didn’t like.

      We recently had flooding like we’ve never had it. The highway department did a great job of triage during the flooding and then did a great job of getting things fixed with all roads open and passable the next day, signs up warning of bumps. The creek was dredged and the bridge was given temporary repairs immediately (that night and the following 2 days). Within 2 weeks the bridge was given a permanent fix and the road that got torn up was repaved, not just a patch, but a full mile of repavement. The playground that was full of mud and debris is fully cleaned up. While I don’t vote D or R as a general rule, this one R does get my vote.

  4. bettykath says:


    Black Bear strolls into bar in Juneau, Alaska, cutoff, leaves

    By Marcus Hondro
    Sep 30, 2013 – 8 hours ago in Odd News

    So have you heard the one about the Black Bear who walked into a bar in Juneau? No? Well it’s no joke, at least it wasn’t funny for the bartender working the Alaskan Hotel Monday night in the city’s downtown.

    The bartender on duty at the time, Ariel Svetlik-McCarthy, was experienced enough to know what to do with a customer she didn’t feel warranted being served. She kicked him out.

    “No bear! Get out! No!” she screamed. “You can’t be in here!” It worked. The bear, perhaps realizing he wasn’t about to be served even had he stayed, quickly, unceremoniously, turned and walked back outside.

    It’s not uncommon, local police say, for bears to wander into homes in the city but they do not often walk into a business like the Alaskan. Unhappily, nuisance bears are sometimes shot but that was, happily, not the case with this bear. After all, he or she was compliant.

    After leaving, the bear is reported to have faded back into the city.
    Black bears are widely distributed across North America and most of their diet is vegetarian. They have been known to attack humans when very hungry or very mad, but more often, like the bear who wandered into the pub, prefer to avoid confrontation.

  5. bettykath says:

    ok, enough levity. This is what I found this morning.


    A Department of Justice memo instructs local police, under a program named “communities against terrorism,” to consider anyone who harbors “conspiracy theories” about 9/11 to be a potential terrorist.

    The memo thus adds 9/11-official-story skeptics to a growing list of targets described by federal law enforcement to be security threats, such as those who express “libertarian philosophies,” “Second Amendment-oriented views,” interest in “self-sufficiency,” “fears of Big Brother or big government,” and “Declarations of Constitutional rights and civil liberties.”

    A newly released national poll shows that 48 percent of Americans either have some doubts about the official account of 9/11, or do not believe it at all.

  6. Deborah Moore says:

    Thanks, Fred. Great stories.
    If I get too self important, all I have to do is go online and someone, somewhere will burst my bubble, right quick.
    I guess it’s true that our friends are really mirrors.
    Oh, it’s Monday. What will happen today? Whoopee. 🙂

  7. Rachael says:

    I don’t know if this is off topic and it probably wont make you laugh but you might stand up and cheer. I did. ☆★☆★☆

    • Trained Observer says:

      Rachael — I laughed at the mere thought of a gun shop profiteer aving to scrourge for a credit card processing buddy. .

      Yet at the same time, what’s not amusing: It seems this story is written from a cloaked in racism perspective … of the “by all means, blame Obama” kind.

      • Trained Observer says:

        having to scrounge

      • Rachael says:

        it’s on the Blaze, Glenn Blechhhh’s thing. nothing cloaked about it. Although he’s another who insists he’s not racist or antisemitic but is.

        • Trained Observer says:

          That ‘splains it! .

        • crazy1946 says:

          While they try to make you think it was a major crisis for them, read it again, they said it took them a week to find a new processor, right? Now look again, they did not cancel the service until Sept. 30, 2013 (today). Like most things from the Tea Party, not quite truthful… amusing isn’t it, they can’t even tell the truth about something as simple as this.

  8. colin black says:

    I was in the Cubs from aged 6 an transfered to the Scouts aged 11
    Absultely loved it an whery pack was Waverly GROUP SIX IN Rose Street some of my happyiest days as a child.

    All Scouts Cubs Brownies an Girl Guides are affilated with a Church an my Troupe was run by good people real Christian types.

    Anyway every year we had a week called bob a job week a bob was slang for a shilling.
    And we got people to sign our cards as we asked them if they required any work done BOB A JOB.

    We would enter strangers homes an vacuum or dust or old ladys would pretend they needed a jar of a high shelf.

    I alaways earened the most money as I was relentless an ruthless an also scamming most of the takeings an still handing in like 6 pounds double what most earned.

    An Id actually earned nearer 50 forinstance the local Chinese restraunt used to pay me ten pounds a week to take there trash out all caeboard box packageing an reams of flat wax type strapping use to secure packages

    It was easy just grabbed ther bin with wheels an pushed it out through some fire doors into a back allet jumped in emptied all the carboard flattened boxes an the reams of that plastic fastening stuff dumped it in a unit full of dustbins an rubbish an wheeled the empty cart back into the restraunt.

    The owner / chef only spoke limited English an I useally spoke with his Son

    Though one Day I entered an only the Father was there an he was attempting to tell me off his recent holiday home to Hong Kong,

    I was looking about for the waste bin as it wasn’t in its useall place whilst trying to make out what he was saying about his two week trip to Hong Kong an visiting various Granchildren .

    As a ten year old I will admit I wasn’t overly enamoured with his tale of his trip home.

    Finnally I looked at him an said .That great very interesting but wheres your Wheelie Bin?

    He looked at me startled an said best I can remember.

    Youa cheeky little monkey where I wheelie bin WHERE I REALY BIN

    I tell you I REALY BIN HONG GONG I Realy be see my family.

    You go now you go now Where I wheelie bin,

    When I later saw his Son an explained what had happened I thought he was having convulsions he was laughing so hard.

    He gave me twenty quid that week..

    • zhickel says:

      Colin, I’m so glad you reminded me of ‘Bob-a-Job’. We moved from Lanarkshire to England when I was 3 years old but the Cubs and Brownies still went around with their cards, earing money for their troupes (or was it charity – I can’t remember?)

      Either way, we all took it very seriously; in full uniform freshly pressed, we headed off in twos and threes to knock on as many doors as we could.

      When I think back now on those innocent days I wonder how many parents these days would allow their children to bugger off for the day and knock on stranger’s doors! I can not remember one bad incident happening during bob-a-job; maybe the world was a more innocent and accepting place.

  9. CarolMaeWY says:

    I don’t get the humor. What am I missing?

    • bettykath says:

      Isn’t there a bit of absurdity in inviting a person of renown to speak and have him walk out three times after creating the situations described?

      And what about the absurdity of complaining that someone else took the big piece when you’d have taken the small ones on your own?

      Read them again, slowly.

  10. Two sides to a story says:

    Life is so absurdly tragic that sometimes there’s nothing you can do but toss your head back and laugh.

    I’ve seen many people run to Tibetan lamas with their sad and tragic stories (and I’ve done so myself) and these wise men respond by laughing uproariously – their signal that there’s nothing else one can do except laugh and be happy in spite of the great suffering.

    • colin black says:

      I can tell you the most contented person I have met in my life lived outside a ramshackle Chi Shope In Rishikesh N E India at the foothills of the Hymilas the River Ganges runs through it an next to Hardwar Is Possably the holy of holy in the Hindu Faith.

      Its the town the Beatles went to as the Mashiraji had an Ashram there.Teple place is full of Ashrams.

      Anyway this guys legs were withered an useless an he was unable to walk.

      He was employed by the Chi Shp owner to mix foulr an cook chippatis on hot stones set up besides a big coca cola ancient ice cooler.

      The Chhi shop owners sons would carry him to the toilet out back when he needed to bathe or toilet.

      An at nigh he would pull out his bed roll an the owner slang a tarmac over the coke freezer an a wall making a weed den for him an he slept with the hot stones still givei g oujt heat to warm him dureinmg the nigh.

      I knew this guy for years an he never had anything but as huge beaming spottles teeth white brilliant white they could dazzle you.

      Not only is he the most contented with his lot person Ive ever met he is also the most noble an proud person Ive ever met .

      An Iv e never heard Ashok as that was his name utter a wors of self pity or condemnation of his lot in life.

      The ooposite in fact he was so grateful for the life he had a place to lay a warm bed an a full stomach every night he had no Family but people whom vared for him an let him earn his keep.

      I could be gone for months travelled back to Europe had untold things sights an experiences he would never know .Return to Sishakesh go to the chi shop order an omlete couple of chippattis an some chi /yea

      An there Ashok still beaming still contented at at peace with his existence an I know he hasn’t moved more than 12 ft to the toilet an then back to his hots stones in decades an never will.

      When ever I get to feeling sorry for my self I need only think of Ashok an it evapourates

  11. Judy75201 says:

    So the Mullah is essentially a very successful parasite.

  12. KA says:

    Thank you. Loved the story. Honestly, I needed it. I have been in “funk” lately and am seeking my way out.

    This helped. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: