Monday 27 May 2013

Politically Correct my Bottom...

I grew up in a family where we didn't swear - not because of other reason than my parents didn't like the sound of swearing and found it unnecessary to use extensive bad language to make a point.

So I am not being politically correct in not using offensive language I just carry my upbringing lovingly with me.

Btw, that was just to exlain why it reads 'bottom' and not something else...

Polically correct terms, then?

We had Sambo Negerkys (Negro Kiss) - fluffy sweet whipped eggwhite covered in dark chocolate and with a wafer base. They renamed them to Samba Creamrolls in order to diassociate from the book Little Black Sambo.
I used to eat Zulu licorice as well. And this is in Denmark, of course, where political correctness has been known to be non-existent - but turns out to be alive and thriving nevertheless. So there goes my excuse!

I suppose we change our minds and our language over time and you could argue that the names are rather stereotypical based on past times ignorance and booth-putting so perhaps the times of change just blew the naming terms right across the idea table and out the window.

In Sainsbury's you can buy Marie Bicuits which are plain biscuits but when we added dark chokolate to one side we changed the name to Black-Marie Biscuits.

Apparently Tintin who had a comic book called 'Tintin in Tibet' in China is called the very politically correct 'Tintin in Chinese Tibet'.

Political correctness?

I run workshops and training and I am not the most politically correct person around but I never mean any harm or offense to anyone, I never mean to be rude or make hurtful comments in any way, and I am pretty sure people know - at least I hope they do and if all else fails I refer back to my country of origin! If people intend to come on my courses to learn what everyone else teaches then the learning objective for my classes is removed and we would all be wasting our time, money and efforts altogether.

I love what I do and I love the people I work with and who join me laughing on my trainings and workshops - we are all the same and we want the real laughter, and the real words, and the real honesty - that's why we do what we do and make that change proactively.

Political correctness? Baa baa black sheep have you any wool...

When do we decide enough is enough?

Yes, things have changed over the years but we have our load of baggage and history and heritage to pass on - both for own culture and the culture of others, that is our responsibility.

'I'm Black, White and Asian'
Of course, with all the information that is being downloaded to our hungry minds and hearts, for some it can be challenging to decide the truth from the less truthful blurb and make the good choice and well-informed decisions. All these different 'isms' that make people withdraw from certain groups of other people because of cultural, policical, racial, religious or other differences... Haven't we had enough?

Orange had a slogan many years ago, 'A stranger is just a friend you haven't met'. How about adopting this way of viewing each other and let the hostility vapourise.

And soon there will be miles of smiles!

Monday 20 May 2013

Propaganda and Coriander

Make Love Not War
Persuasion, publicity, campaigning - tapping into emotions instead of the intellect...

There is an exhibition at British Library at the moment about propaganda and that's where it had me pondering - whilst waiting for friends to arrive I sat with my British Library salad which made me choke when I realised it was full of coriander, the green stuff that I dislike so much that I may even say I HATE it.

After the initial coriander horror experience I was reading the screen that described the propaganda show, "From leaflet drops to tweets, for intentions good and bad.", it read.

Propaganda - from the verb 'propagare' meaning 'set forward, extend, spread, increase' - anything we market can be considered propaganda, then - or?

Mostly the term has been connected with religious and political campaigning in the history of times and as such it has a certain quality to the sound and use.

So is it one of those words that has a negative vibe to it? And is it true that if some groups use it then it is 'propaganda' but if other people promote ideas then it is 'education and information'? Who is to decide what is what and who is who?

In the olden days when the word came about it was not just used in campaigns considered to be of religious or political nature - propaganda was used in promotion of health and wellbeing.

The thing about propaganda though is that it relates a lot to persuasion and a lot of propaganda in the past has played on fear and insecurities - so where is free will?

When I sat staring with great animosity at my salad I felt tired just thinking about removing these tiny specks of green before eating it. 'Coriander is good for you', I thought. Somewhere someone wrote this and placed the idea in my mind, and it's certainly not the sensation coriander creates on my tastebuds that has initiated this thought.

Is this propaganda - or just information and education?
Coriander is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. It is also rich in many vital vitamins including folic-acid, vitamin-A, beta carotene and vitamin-C that are essential for optimum health. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Coriander leaves provides 30% of daily recommended levels of vitamin C. The health benefits of cilantro are many. Its powerful anti-inflammatory capacities that can help one deal with symptoms of arthritis. Coriander leaves offer great relief from stomach indigestion problems and the like. It also helps reduce feelings of nausea. Studies have shown that it has got strong antioxidant properties and it helps promote healthy liver function.
And then there is a choice! I still dislike coriander from an honest heart!

If I think about all the things I have eaten over the years because I read it was good for health or weight management or heightened brain function or whathaveyou, I can see the persuasion in all the messages about good health and greater connection with ourselves and others. It doesn't mean it's good or bad - it only means that we can be left with a lot of confusing messages when we are told potatoes are good for us and next minute they are not.

So propaganda or marketing?

Well, we buy into the messages that trigger our emotional responses and in the end - we are all more than capable of choosing what is right for us and what is less right. Sometimes, however, we are more inclined to go with the masses than our own gut feeling.

Choose wisely and trust your intuition - it makes a huge difference.

Laughter Yoga - non-political, non-religious, Monsanto-free and TOTALLY free from coriander!

Monday 13 May 2013

12 months!

The Laughter Blog started in 2007 with great intentions and only 3 blogposts until ... May 2012!

I have now officially been writing for 52 (maybe 53) consecutive weeks, weird thoughts, experiences, blurb, blabla, quantum ideas (maybe), strange mind finds and other jibber-jabber, bursting out mind-happenstances in a wealth of mumbo-jumbo.

What do you think? Some weeks are more appealing than others but that is okay because at the end of the day it is just life viewed from one perspective, mine, although it is with a hope of opening other great minds to finding opportunities and possibilities in life in order to roll out extra-ordinarity!

The bottom 3 blogposts were all written in the first month the blog came back to life in May 2012:

A Thought on Possibilities and Love... 16 views 15/05/2012
Cultivating play - especially for grown-ups! 18 views 28/05/2012
The Laughter Blog - back on track... 26 views 10/05/2012

When I re-read them I thought they were pretty neat but then I read through a lot of the posts and thought, 'wow, did I really write all that - my mind must be a rather strange place'...

And then there were the top 3 blogposts:

The Hollister Experience 93 views 15/10/2012

In between all those stories came the stories of purpost, statement that Unicorns are real, flood alert, carers week and mentions of lollipops and hoolahoops - oh yes, it has been an exciting year and my writings have definitely inspired me to look deeper in myself and what triggers thoughts outside the ordinary - or is there in fact no 'ordinary' when it comes to thinking?

I hope you have enjoyed a bit of the wordiness now and again, and will continue to read the posts whether you find it interesting, amusing, annoying, irritating, mind-opening, mind-closing, mind-boggling, just plain weird - please feel free to comment, too.

In good hopes, with 5,103 views in the bag and moving forward to new mind-horizons hoping to be accompanied by your curiousity...

Monday 6 May 2013

Those diagnoses...

When I returned home from the romantic north-east last weekend I read the blog of one of my Laughter Friends. It upset my heart and it came back to me big-time the number of times we trust the diagnoses we get from highly educated professionals who practice medicine... practice?

Not intentionally insulting anyone who has undergone this fantastic academic education and I'm sure the background for entering this trade is based in true compassion and passion for helping people.  However, sometimes it feels as if the compassion was left on the study bench and replaced by procedures and standards - in both response and treatment.

How come the messages that are being delivered to us mortals are still being expressed in such terms that we are left confused and with little more knowledge than before entering the whitecoat office?

No wonder we search endlessly on Google and Wiki for answers that are expresses in ways we can comprehend even if we know they may not contain the whole truth...

Professional health practitioners used to be respected and valued for their knowledge but they forgot time moves on and what is no longer needed is glossy latin terms of no meaning and instead we need empathy and layman terms that can be understood by people and not whitecoats.

Owing to my own study of holistic therapies which required me to also study anatomy and physiology I had a vague idea of which questions to ask, which changes to look for and what to question when I went in for the review of my brain scan in 2008 - but not everyone has the knowledge that enables them to ask the questions needed in order to get the answers that puts your worries to rest, and besides, my study is far from enough to make me an expert in any way. I am happy to say that growing up with a nurse-mum also has helped me get a sense of which questions to ask and when to question altogether - but not everyone has a mum- or dad-nurse or even a doctor in the family that speaks our language.

I truly hope that any diagnosis that seem as if spoken in alien tongue is not of the serious kind. One may ponder whether the reason these sentences are sometimes fabricates is to cover up the truth or whether it is in fact because the language is just used to raise the profile of the individual doctors and consultants - way above us English-speaking individuals.

Sarcasm? Not really, just a bit of frustration expressed in a frustrated way, and please also bear in mind that I am from Sarcasm Country.

May all your future diagnoses be understandable, gentle and healthy.

I come in peace!