Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

My Dad, my hero, said it best:  “When I was in my 20s, I worried about what people said about me.  When I was in my 40s, I didn’t care what they said about me.  Now, in my 60s, I realize they weren’t talking about me at all.”  When I was in my 20s, I thought he was really really wrong.  Pure D wrong.  In my 40s, I didn’t think about what he said.  Now?  He’s right.

I’ve had things said to me recently that would have bothered me years ago.  A lot.  Now I smile.  Actually, I laugh.  Brenda says I gloat.  She doesn’t see the humor in everything like I do.  She says I can be a bit excessive.  (Who knew?)

I’ve always been the class clown, coming up with what I consider cute and clever comments (especially when not solicited, Brenda will be quick to add.  She might also venture an opposing opinion as to the cuteness and cleverness.)

At any rate, a lot of my business today is based on humor and motivational speeches and employee coaching and training.  I’ve even penned my corporate slogan – Learning through laughter.  Years ago, I would have been concerned over the difference between people laughing with me or at me.  Most often, as long as they’re laughing, I’m good with that.

Last night my son called and said he and friends were playing “Apples to Apples.”  All the players get cards with a noun or other descriptive on it.  “It” turns over a card, and the others compete to see who can convince “it” that one of their cards is the closest match.  Parker said “it” turned over the card “Spunky.”  Parker immediately tossed down his card that said “my family.”  It was a no brainer.  The others agreed with his choice, commenting on Parker’s Dad specifically (that would be me).  I don’t know exactly why they thought of me with the word “spunky,” but I’m sure I don’t mind. 

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a wonderful young lady in the grocery store and asked about her mother.  Like her daughter, the mother, loved laughter and making people happy.  A few days later, the daughter saw me again and said, “I went home from Kroger’s the other day and told Mother that I had seen ‘that Bob Owen.’  And she smiled.”  A few years ago, I might have concerned myself over that.  But, now, I like it.  I like being “that Bob Owen” and making people smile. 

In fact, I'm thinking about adding that to my brochures.  Learning Through Laughter with That Bob Owen.  Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Date of Blog Story: 
February 9, 2010

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