Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

-Albert Einstein


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is Laughter the Best Medicine?

Years ago there was a story about a guy who had a terminal disease, but determined to cure himself through laughter. His name is Norman Cousins. He was the editor of Saturday Review for 30 years and wrote a book entitled, “Anatomy of an Illness.” Cousins spent his days watching Laurel and Hardy movies and other comedy films that made him laugh. The amazing thing is that he was healed and he credits his healing to laughter. Look up Norman Cousins on the internet.

Remember - we don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are. Cousins was evidently able to change the way things were, because of who he was and the mindset he brought to his unfortunate circumstances. Someone said that the opposite of humor is depression. I wonder then if the cure for depression may be humor.

The Maryland Medical Center found that laughing is almost as effective as exercise for improving arterial health, so there’s obviously a physiological benefit as well as a psychological benefit in laughter.

Laughter relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation to the heart and it lowers cortisol, a hormone related to stress. The reason it works is that it reduces stress and stress will compromise your immune system. There are other ways of reducing stress, including exercise, having a dog or cat, prayer, music and other things, but laughing is easy and cheap.

Life is full to the brim with pain, sadness, sickness, cruelty, disasters, and death. There are myriads of negative events that can bury you emotionally.

Mark Twain said, “The source of all humor is sorrow.” That may or may not be true, but I tend to think that there’s something to it. Cynicism is certainly a source of humor, but you can find humor in human behavior and a myriad of more superficial things. And it may be true that in a deeper sense sorrow does play a role. But one thing is certain, laughter is good for you, so do it whenever you can.

Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

I say, “If you get a chance to laugh, take it.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Don't let a crisis go to waste.

Another week of chaos and vitriol. Some paranoid schizophrenic, who, if he is political at all, is more to the left than the right, kills a child and several other innocent bystanders. The fact that he watches violent films, which Hollywood says have no affect on behavior, is into drugs and occult crap, has been a threat to teachers and others, is less of a concern than the fact that he ate a filet of fish sandwich at McDonald’s and Sarah Palin’s husband is a fisherman. So there’s the connection the loons need. It’s Palin’s fault. Or Limbaugh’s. Or George Bush’s. Or talk radio. Since the killer ate a fish sandwich, fishing should be outlawed. Who are these morons?

As Rahm Emanuel said, “Don’t let a crisis go to waste.” Are there still enough ignorant sheep left in America to buy into this manipulation? Unfortunately, I think the answer is “yes.”

When a democratic Congressman can look down from his perch at an Admiral during a congressional hearing, and express his serious concern that sending troops to an island base may add enough weight to cause the island to “tip over,” you know that those who voted him into office have IQ’s even lower than his. It seems inconceivable that anyone can be that dumb and still sign a ballot, but it must be true. If you missed that hearing, look it up on the internet. It happened.

Back to the murder in Arizona. This mass murder was a non-political event, perpetrated by a psychotic and deluded fool, who was influenced more by the skull he evidently worshipped, the drugs he took and the voices in his head than an article in Newsmax Magazine or Glenn Beck.

The trial will be scheduled in ten years or so, when the emotions subside and we learn how much potential the poor boy had, how he was kind to his mother and how much he loved his voodoo doll. And you and I will pay millions for his defense and incarceration.

Is this a great country or what?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

"What's it all about, Alfie?"

I heard a gunshot at midnight, so I guess that was the starting gun for 2011. Up here in the mountains, miles from civilization, we are thankful for that guy with the gun who evidently also has a radio and communication with the outside world. Every year he notifies the natives that it’s time to change calendars. Without our Paul Revere of New Years Eve, how would we know it was New Years Day?

We’re buried in snow up here with more in the forecast. I found a frozen squirrel this morning, so I guess we have meat for a couple of days. We’ve eaten the bark off the trees as far as we can reach, so boiled squirrel is a real treat.