Humor is a good antidote to untested assumptions and a marvelous way to elicit change at a symbolic level. It shakes us loose. For example, in a workshop on personality types I handed out a variety of Slammers — beanie-type toys that make a sound when you throw them down on a hard surface. Participants had great fun with these, sometimes slamming them down on the table to make a point during the discussion.
- For Skeptics, who worry about what could go wrong, their Slammer was a puppy dog that shouted, “Oh, no!”
- For Helpers, who take care of others’ needs and forget their own, their Slammer had a puckered-up mouth and made the sound of a big, smacking kiss.
- My own Peacemaker types tend to merge with others' agendas and fail to speak up for ourselves; when we threw our Slammer down… it made no sound at all!
A friend says we Peacemakers are easy to tease and enjoy self-deprecating humor. That may be true. While reading Iris Murdoch’s The Green Knight, I laughed out loud at this passage:
“What he saw might have been her pity for him, her sympathy. Or perhaps just her kindness, the way in which, ever after as he watched her, she instinctively made all things better, speaking no evil, disarming hostility, turning ill away, making peace: her gentleness, which made her seem, sometimes, to some people, weak, insipid, dull. ‘She’s not exactly a strong drink!’ someone said.”
Ironic that my favorite cocktail is a Godfather. Hmmm. I might be symbolically drinking strength. Anyway, as I've matured I've become a stronger drink, stepping up, shouting out; my paintings and my tastes in poetry are becoming less and less rule-bound.
I LOST MY BOOBS, NOT MY SENSE OF HUMOR proudly stated my post breast cancer t-shirt more than five years ago. So my son Dylan Schwab helped me create a rap about having no breasts (click here). I was inspired by Anne Hathaway, who is Sweetness personified (and I’m sure has very nice breasts), performing her paparazzi rap: