Laughter heals

It is said that laughter is medicine and therefore by implication, has a healing power. It is a generally held view that for those who live long, one of the characteris­tics associated with them is frequent laughter.

It is widely believed that one of the ways to reduce stress is laughter. At a per­sonal level, I have observed that after watching drama movies and having laughed a lot due to the numerous funny scenes, I feel very relaxed afterwards.

Looking at the obituar­ies in the media space and on walls at various places across the country, the aver­age age of deceased people, falls within the youthful bracket. Given the current economic conditions, stress­ful conditions can negatively impact lives which in ex­treme situations may result in unfortunate incidents like suicide.

It is in this light that this piece is being written to enable people, especially members of the Ghanaian public, laugh off the stress some of them might be go­ing through.

The story is told of a Catholic Priest whose con­gregation go to for confes­sion as the usual practice of the church is. When they go to him, the usual refrain is “Father, I commit­ted adultery” or “Father, I committed fornication.” The confession of adultery and fornication and the gory details were becoming too much to bear for the Father, who although has sworn to a life of celibacy was human after all.

The father therefore, issued a directive to the church to just say “Father, I fell” when the members come to confess and they have committed either adultery or fornication and he would understand what they actually meant and he in turn would encourage them to go and sin no more. This was the practice that was then established in the Parish and it made things easier for congregants and the Father, the priest.

This father was trans­ferred and a new father was brought in who did not know the convention that had been established between the previous father and the congregants. The new priest started hearing “Father, I fell”, “Father, I fell” from a lot of the congregants during confessions. He was alarmed by the falls which he attributed to the uneven surfaces of the sidewalks in the city. He therefore decided to go and complain to the Mayor of the city. He went to him and said “May­or, you really need to do something about the pave­ments in this city because all I hear at confession is “Father, I fell” all the time.

The Mayor who was also a congregant started laughing uncontrollably. The father became annoyed at the be­haviour of the mayor who he assumed was not taking his complaint seriously enough and said “why are you laugh­ing, this is serious. Only last week your wife fell three times”. Immediately, the mayor’s laughter stopped abruptly and he collapsed.

A story was told of how a man’s infidelity created a problem for him. This man left his phone while watch­ing TV with his wife for a moment to go to the wash­room. An incoming message alert caused the wife to pick up the phone and saw a message from his side chick urgently requesting for GH¢2,000.

His wife quickly deleted the message and using her new number sent the same message to her husband. The man on seeing the message went to request the money from her wife with the excuse that his mum was not well. She willingly gave him the money and he in turn transferred the money to his ‘side chick’.

Next morning he called his side chick’s new number to confirm receipt of the money sent and guess the voice that responded “Yes, I have received it”, his own wife’s voice. The man is still wandering in town fig­uring out how he is going to go to his own house to meet his wife.

By Laud Kissi-Mensah

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