Allow The Laughter

I found a mouse in the washing machine. It startled me and I jumped back, tossing my clothes into the air. When I recovered, I approached the washing machine like it held a Bengal tiger and cautiously peaked into the tub. The mouse had long ago gone to mouse heaven though I poked it with a hanger just to be sure. One cannot be too careful. After shrouding the mouse in a plastic bag and relocating it the trash bin, I laughed heartily at myself. I wondered what I would have done had the mouse been alive. I wondered how I would have liberated it.

Many years ago my dryer broke down and my pal Albert came to take a look at it. Albert is mechanical and has many times fixed things for me. He popped off the back of the dryer and a rat leapt out. Albert screamed and when the fleeing rat rounded the corner and bumped into me, I screamed and did an oh-my-god-a-rat-just-bumped-into-me dance. Luckily, the back screen door was ajar and the rat escaped without my needing to herd it, track it, or capture it. Albert screamed at me, “You could have told me that there was a rat in your dryer!” I screamed, “I didn’t know!” And then we laughed and shivered.

Rodents are not supposed to be in appliances. These two things do not go together and it’s the disjoint from expectation that makes the clothes fly and sparks the silly rat-touched-me dances. A few days ago I sat in the airport and had tons of time to watch people. Airports can be a riot of disjointed expectations. People shout silly things. They do silly this-is-not-what-I-wanted dances. The only thing missing is the laughter.

I imagine children come into this world with an expectation of love. We were all children once and have a bag full of stories of disjointed expectations. I’m learning that, if you can find the laughter, you can see that the mouse was not supposed to be in the washing machine, the parent was not supposed to turn their anger on you, the school was not supposed to stamp your curiosity, the community was supposed to support you and not shame you. And, somehow the mouse got into the machine. So we scream and throw clothes. We get scared and do silly things. It all falls into perspective when we allow the natural laughter that follows the recognition of a broken expectation.

[904. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.]

For a humorous look at the wonderful world of innovation and new ventures, check out my new comic strip Fl!p and the gang at Fl!p Comics.

2 Responses

  1. “We were all children once and have a bag full of stories of disjointed expectations. I’m learning that, if you can find the laughter, you can see that the mouse was not supposed to be in the washing machine, the parent was not supposed to turn their anger on you, the school was not supposed to stamp your curiosity, the community was supposed to support you and not shame you.”
    More, more, more, more, more on this…please?

    I’ve watched Dr. Brene Brown’s TED talks on Shame — below is a 3 minute clip of her discussing shame in classrooms:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/25/dr-brene-brown-shame-in-school-classrooms_n_2935956.html

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