Sunday, April 25, 2010

Health and Laughter

I read an interesting story in San Francisco Chronicle about jokes and laughter. I read that children laugh more than 300 times a day, and most adults laugh only about 17 times a day! I felt sad when I read that! We all need to laugh. It's good for our health, and good for our minds, too.

Still, many people don't enjoy jokes that hurt another person's feelings. We feel bad about laughing at jokes that insult other people. For example, I do not like jokes about women, gay people, old people,  Asians, Latinos, black people or immigrants! But I still love good jokes.

Sometimes people tell a joke that is unkind, and then they say,
  • "Don't worry, it's just a joke!" or
  • "Can't you take a joke?"
to people who feel hurt or feel insulted.

When we are nervous about telling jokes at work, it's too bad because laughing helps us enjoy our lives. We get nervous, or stressed, and jokes can help us at those times.   I also think it is very good when we can be strong and say we don't like jokes that are insulting to each other. You can tell someone, "I don't like jokes like that!" We can laugh without hurting other people! At work, it's great if you can relax and laugh, but also feel comfortable that everyone feels comfortable and respected.

Look at this comic. Does it give you a little smile? I can always use a joke about computers and technology, can't you?

Also here is a short video from an American comedian, Steve Martin, about learning English. People can be very funny, or sometimes ridiculous when we teach and when we learn. What do you think of the teacher and her student? Can you understand the sentence he is trying to learn to say?

Learning to tell jokes, and beginning to understand jokes is an important and fun part of learning a new language. 
Speaking Practice: Click here to listen to a joke. Then, tell the same joke.

Writing Practice: Do you have a story this week about how humor and laughter help you be a healthy person? How do jokes and laughter help you with take care of stress? Have you ever told a person not to tell insulting jokes? Click on comment and tell us what you think.

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