Monday, July 29, 2019
Every day I am haunted by thoughts of children in cages, dirty, hungry and without anyone to hug them.
Tonight we went to hear David Sedaris. One of Sedaris' former students opened for Sedaris by reading a very funny essay of her own. As a teacher, it was nice to see a former professor promoting a student. We were treated to two hours of non-stop laughing. His diary readings along with his first-time tests of new material were hysterically funny. The audience was receptive and appreciative. Serotonin levels raised, I left with a more carefree outlook.
I mentally contrasted my evening with those who are suffering and recalled someone saying that the best thing we can do for the next generation is to be optimistic. About a year ago, Time published a piece by KJ Dell'Antonia How to Raise Optimistic Kids in Pessimistic Times.
The author wrote: "There are excellent reasons for anyone — nations, businesses, schools — to seek out the optimistic. And it’s even truer for parents who wish to see their children succeed both as kids and as adults. Optimists are more resilient. They make better entrepreneurs, experience better health outcomes, live longer and are more satisfied with their relationships. Optimism enables people to continue to strive in the face of difficulty, while pessimism leaves them depressed and resigned to failure — even expecting it."
So yes- not only is it healthy and good mentoring to laugh, indeed it is imperative. Ways to find relief from grief and other distress is probably the most valuable tool we can give our young. Not to ignore serious fault lines in our world, but to show ways to survive with our humanity intact.