War. Famine. COVID-19. Isolation. Addiction. Inflation. Recession. The news around the world (and around the corner) seems bleaker by the day. And to top it all off, Mercury is in retrograde, which means we all have a collective excuse to be mean to friends, family, and bad drivers.
Oftentimes, we feel helpless against the onslaught of terrible things. Our brilliant HR Manager Mollie Banks took a moment last week to remind us that we all (friends, family, and co-workers) have been through a dramatic and traumatic time since March 2020. Through thick and thin, she reminded us that we have each other. We all need to care for each other a little more. We need to cheer up. We need to buck up. Sadly, there is no magic cure…or is there?
I’ve given this a lot of thought recently. I’ve done some self-reflection and some research. In the face of these complex issues, there’s not much we can do. I can’t call Putin and tell him “You’ve got to stop what you’re doing, Vlad.” But I can try to make those around me smile, laugh, or just forget about the problems. (Even if I get a groan and an eye roll emoji back in a text).
What the world needs now are more Dad Jokes.
“How is a dad joke different from a regular joke?” you may ask.
“It’s apparent.” *Ba dum dum tss*
Although the term “dad joke” didn’t officially enter dictionaries until 2014, it’s apparently a world-wide phenomenon. In Korea, the art of the dad joke is known as ajae geagu, and in Japan, oyagi gaygu. Dad jokes are told everywhere. Some are funny. Most are not.
But they have a purpose. The joke teller might laugh more than the receiver. You can tell most dad jokes (not all) to a child…and that’s a good idea. Try to engage the child in conversation, and they’ll understand a few things; you care enough to make them laugh, you’ll engage them in a conversation, and you’ll take precious moments away from the phone or tablet you’ve been using as an electronic babysitter.
Dad Jokes may not be the cure of all evils, but at least it’s a wholesome start. I know these things for certain: we all need a mental break, we all need to relax a little more, we all need diversions from the bad news, and we all need to communicate better. So I leave you with this; tell a joke, make a pun, recite a schoolyard limerick, or share a funny story this week with a friend or family member that needs to hear it. You’ll get a laugh, a smile, a groan, or an eye roll. Even if the joke falls flat, you’ve succeeded.