About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“I still haven’t made up my mind whether I shall publish it all. Some people are so humorless, so uncharitable, and so absurdly wrong-headed, that one would probably do far better to relax and enjoy life than worry oneself to death trying to instruct or entertain a public which will only despise one’s efforts, or at least feel no gratitude for them. Most readers know nothing about canon law. Many regard it with contempt and find everything heavy going that isn’t completely lowbrow. Some are so grimly serious that they disapprove of all humor. Others come to different conclusions every time they stand up or sit down. They seize upon your publications, as a wrestler seizes upon his opponent’s hair, and use them to drag you down, while they themselves remain quite invulnerable, because their barren pates are completely bald, so there’s nothing for you to get hold of.”
— St. Thomas More to Peter Gilles, 1516

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Humor is Your Best Friend
published 12 March 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

One of the “tools” in the Recovery, International group for anger, fear and depression I keep telling you about is “humor is your best friend.” Light recommended humor is very different from the type of sarcasm I am trying to get away from. As I work on getting away from the bad kind to the good kind I have a wonderful role model in a new friend of mine, also a widow, Marti Armstrong. She drives from Poughkeepsie, NY to our monthly meetings of the Bride of Christ community. (www.brideofchristcommunity.com) When she comes she stays on an air mattress in the little cell I live in at the Seminary.

Although very serious about spirituality and tragedies of life, she is absolutely bouyantly resilient about the same daily frustrations I get hysterical over. As in, if we get lost following her GPS directions, I tense up and think we will never get there. She laughs merrily and admonishes her virtual electronic mentor on the GPS with words such as, “How can I trust you…silly voice?” Or, crossing a busy street, she will mutter ebulliently, “not a good day to get run over, Marti!”

When she leaves I usually sink back into my way of seeing every frustration as a symbol of how awful life is but, then, suddenly I start copying her better way and talking to myself coyly as in “well, silly little cat, can’t find what you need again…going senile…ha, ha, ha.”

An comic-actress friend of mine of the past, Mary Mitchell, used to give workshops called “When God laughed.” She insisted that Jesus must have roared with laughter when he drew the tax money out of the mouth of the fish. She challenged us with the advice that at the end of every day we should try to turn every “tragedy” into comedy. I thought this a little idiotic until I saw it with my own eyes in a case as tragic as death! This extremely humorous professor was dying slowly of a rare blood disease. Everyone wondered how his seemingly weak wife was going to take his final demise. But on the road to the cemetery, there she was joking with each of us because at the exact moment the hospital called her with the bad news, the toilet seat in their house cracked in half, a comic version of the temple veils were rent in two when Jesus died.

God, please keep me from taking every trivial frustration so seriously. Lighten me up, so I may be less heavy on those around me.

Dr. Ronda has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.