Avoid Anger And War By Having A Laugh


by John Watson - Date: 2006-12-24 - Word Count: 1011 Share This!

Anger and even war can be avoided or, at least, made less likely by having a laugh both at ourselves and others.

At the moment, Iran is the black sheep of the international world. The United Nations have condemned Iran's attempt to become a nuclear power and sanctions have been imposed. Every nation in the world, led by the USA and the UK, has voted against Iran.

However, in December 2006, one man did much to bring a British audience closer to the Iranians. Omid Djalili, the Iranian comedian, appeared on stage at the Royal Variety show for a few minutes.

In that brief time, he managed to poke fun at India, Germany, Britain and the USA. He also, importantly, made fun of his own country, Iran. His words brought laughter and mutual understanding. Here are some of them:

"I am actually from Iran. That might be a surprise to some of you. I'm in fact the only Iranian comedian in the world. That's, technically, three more than in Germany.

I did that joke in Germany and they said: 'That makes no sense. You are ONE? That makes Germany in deficit of two comedians what are you talking about?'

The British audience laughed at Omid's caricature of the humourless German. Omid was quick to take advantage of any laughter:

"Keep the laughter coming; it helps with my asylum application that's going through.

I'm here to prove that in Iran we can be friends with Great Britain and America and Russia and Israel. In fact, I think we can all be family - nuclear family!

In Iran, we don't like to be told what to do!

When the American government says: 'IRAN should give up their nuclear weapons' program. You do that and the USA will do trade with Iran again,' the Iranians say:

'That is very nice, America. Why don't you do this? Why don't YOU give up YOUR nuclear weapons' program and we will send you twenty trucks of pistachio nuts. How about that?

Why don't YOU give up Guantanamo Bay? We'll throw in a carpet. How about THAT???'

My point about culture is that we are all the same really; you know - Greeks, Iranians and Arabs. We are very similar. We only differ in our levels of tax evasion.

I am the first Iranian to play Broadway. The first Iranian to play off Broadway. It was actually off, off Broadway. It was actually a curry festival in New Jersey! But still.

Well, I feel that the prejudice is the other way round. I was doing a free night run and on the first night a guy just goes:

'Hey BUDDY! We've got a fat, limey Iranian hump. Hey BUDDY! You fly in from where? -Bongo, Bongo Land! You try to make me laugh? What am I - a putz? What you want to do? Take a few hostages - you big fat tub of Iranian crap? You take your itsy bitsy Iranian ass - you get the HELL OUT OF HERE!!!'

And that was passport control."

I don't know what the Iranians think of Omid Djalili but the Middle East, like the rest of the world, does have a great tradition of humour. Characters like the great Mullah Nasruddin are both funny and wise at the same time.

Another example of how humour might have helped to calm a tense situation can be found in the recent reality show 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.'

In this show, celebrities are faced with daily challenges. If they do well, they win food for their teams. Motivation is high and even fierce.

In one incident, Phina Oruche, an actress, was pitted against Scott Henshall, a fashion designer. Phina and her companion, Lauren Booth, won the contest and Phina was entitled to open a chest which probably contained food.

Scott sat on the chest to stop her opening it. He believed that the rules of the contest allowed this. Matt Willis, his companion, was not so sure and Scott was left on his own to defend the chest.

In the end, it came down to a wrestling match between Phina and Scott. Lauren, a distant relative of Tony Blair, argued that reason and justice should prevail but the two main protagonists took no notice!

Phina scratched Scott and then did the unthinkable. She bit him. Scott was outraged and the whole incident became a source of enmity and almost open war.

Scott did not hesitate to show the other celebrities the grazes he had received from Phina's scratching and, of course, the bite marks!

How different things would have been if the two of them had decided to have a laugh and tickle each other rather than fight each other. Scott did in fact suggest, at a later time, that Phina should have tickled him instead of biting him.

Dec, one of the show's presenters, picked up on this suggestion and commented with his usual irony:

"Words of wisdom there from Scott I think we can all learn from - Don't bite. Don't scratch. Just tickle!"

Ant, who was Dec's fellow presenter, agreed:

"It's true! The world would be a better place if we just tickled people."

Dec put the thought into action and started tickling Ant.

Ant said: "Get off! Get off! GET OFF before I PUNCH you in the head!"

Of course, Ant and Dec were making fun of the tickling suggestion as being too nave but even nave suggestions can be made to work if there is some good will on both sides.

Later, Phina did apologize to Scott: "I'm sorry! I'm so sorry."

Humour can help us to observe our fellow humans more closely and help us to put ourselves in their shoes. We may well notice that they are not so different from us after all.

The taxman is unpopular in most nations. Britain lost America partly over an argument about tax. Also, I cannot think of any nation that likes to be told what to do by other nations.

If we do have to get physical, let's try and keep it as harmless as possible. Tickling rather than biting can be annoying but it is less likely to provoke a war.

Let's stick to conventional weapons rather than nuclear ones and we may even save the planet.


Related Tags: stress, war, iran, anger management, united nations, im a celebrity, nuclear program, omid djalili, scott

John Watson is an award winning teacher and 5th degree blackbelt martial arts instructor. He has written several ebooks on motivation and success topics. One of these can be found at http://www.motivationtoday.com/36_laws.php

You can also find motivational ebooks by authors like Stuart Goldsmith. Check out http://www.motivationtoday.com/the_midas_method.php

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