Lessons From Humor

This was sent to me by Jerry Gorzoch, a high school classmate:

A very self-important college student attending a recent football game, took it upon himself to explain to a senior citizen sitting next to him why it was impossible for the older generation to understand his generation.

‘You grew up in a different world, actually an almost primitive one,’ the student said, loud enough for many of those nearby to hear. ‘The young people of today grew up with television, jet planes, space travel, man walking on the moon, our spaceships have visited Mars. We have nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, computers with DSL, BPS, light-speed processing, and’ .. pausing to take another drink of beer….

The Senior took advantage of the break in the student’s litany and said, ‘You’re right, son. We didn’t have those things when we were young… so we invented them. Now, you arrogant little punk, what are you doing for the next generation?’

I often feel that younger people look upon me as an ignorant old man simply because I’m not up on text messaging, the latest comic book heroes, and the more popular television shows. What they fail to understand is that I spend a great deal of time reading, and when I do watch television, most of my viewing is aimed at the history, discovery, travel, and similar channels.

Of course, I must admit that, as a young man, I looked down on my father in this same fashion. He’d dropped out of school after the seventh grade – what could I expect him to know about anything?

Once again I failed to recognize that while I was in my own limited world, he was reading and listening; his education never stopped. Even after he became legally blind he continued to read… using ‘talking’ books.


This one is from Jim Mazurek – another high school classmate:

A man and a woman were asleep like two innocent babies. Suddenly, at 3 o’clock in the morning, a loud noise came from outside. The woman, sort of bewildered, jumped up from the bed and yelled at the man “Holy cow. That must be my husband!'”

So the guy quickly jumped out of the bed; scared and naked he jumped out the window like a crazy man. He smashed himself on the ground, ran through a thorn bush and then started to run as fast as he could to his car.

A few minutes later he returned and went up to the bedroom and screamed at the woman, “I AM your  husband!

The woman yelled back, “Yeah, then why were you running?”

And that, folks, is how the fight started…

Assumptions are always dangerous. In the story from Jim, it appears that the trouble may have begun with the woman – half asleep – assuming she was in bed with someone other than her husband. Her husband made a similar assumption. Were their assumptions born out of guilt from having been in such situations in the past? Were their reactions purely innocent mistakes caused by their less than wide-awake brains? We can only assume one way or the other.

Most of our assumptions are based on past experiences. Because of that fact, it’s extremely difficult to avoid assumptions when we’re dealing with friends and family members we’ve known for decades.

How many of us have grown up, moved into our own place, and set out as responsible adults to live the way our parents had hoped we would? What happens when the parents come to visit? Right! It’s almost as bad as going to visit them at their home for a few days. All the old patterns of behavior are still there. It’s not easy for parents to ‘let go’ and interact with their adult children by treating them as adults.

Conversely, it’s difficult for children to interact with their parents on an adult level. Regardless of what the parent says or does, the adult child’s mind is seeing and hearing things based on years of conditioning.

In my own family, there were a number of years separating the older and younger children. My oldest sibling is my sister, Wilda, who is eighty-seven. Then comes Gert at eighty-five, Lew at eighty, Doug at sixty-six, and me… a sixty-four year old baby of the family.

Believe it or not, when I’m around the oldest siblings, I sometimes find myself doing things that make me feel like the kid-brother again. This is especially true with my oldest brother. Simple things like parking a car become a chore because I’m trying to remember all the things I was taught by the person riding with me.

Most of the time, we’re not even aware of how we’re reacting in such situations.

I’m now going to make an assumption about many people I’ve never met. After reading this post, you’re going to question your behavior when you’re with your adult children or your older siblings and parents. I’ll further assume that you’ll discover that much of what I’ve said is true.

Finally, I’ll assume you’ve learned enough from jokes today. I don’t have to assume I’ve said enough about the subject.

One Response to Lessons From Humor

  1. […] Jim’s Journeys added an interesting post on Lessons From HumorHere’s a small teaser […]

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