21 May 2019:
Lessons from Michael Jr.

Prem, my husband has his headphones on and is laughing loudly as he watches a video of some dude on his laptop. As is usually the case, he has no idea of how loud he’s laughing! But his laughter is madly infectious and pretty soon I find myself giggling even though I haven’t the faintest clue why!

Turns out that Prem is watching a video of a stand up comedian called, “Michael Jr.” When I ask him what’s so funny, he looks at me with a mildly surprised expression – how did I know he was watching something funny?! Of course he’s completely unaware that he was laughing, let alone laughing at volume 10! Now it’s my turn to look surprised! (actually this is one of those things that continually surprises me about him) – how can one laugh and not even be aware of it?!

Anyway to get to the point : ) Prem tells me that this man ‘in’ the laptop, “Michael Junior” had one of those dramatic turn-around moments in life when he realized that his career as a stand-up comedian was entirely focused on ‘getting laughs’ from people. What changed for him was focus – he decided that rather than doing that, i.e, making himself the centre, he was going to ‘gift laughter’ ..gift joy to others! From the moment this realization hit, he started visiting joy-starved places – hospitals, old-age homes and the like, ‘giving laughter’ and reviving souls!

There’s something profound here folks! I ask myself, how much of what I do (ostensibly for others) -writing, speaking, mentoring, counselling, cooking, exercising etc boils down to wanting self-validation? How hungry we are for human approval – it’s like a cavern within that gets filled only to empty itself out again! What would it be like to do all that I (we) do with the sole motive of ‘giving’? – giving laughter, giving hope, giving a shoulder..giving..ourselves. Surely it would significantly change our paths as it did Michael Junior’s..

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