The Humor Blog for Well-Being

March 5, 2016

Empathy and Chutzpah

When I was building my family, I was all for promoting self-expression. I was all for women’s liberation and children’s liberation. I wanted my wife and son to feel free to express their views and feelings. BIG MISTAKE!  As a result of my foolishness, I have spent the last thirty years surrounded by overly assertive family members who challenge my every word, question my judgment, and want me to experiment with colors other than brown. Our son never had a thought that didn’t find its way into his mouth. My wife, in turn, never had a grievance she didn’t express. Oh, the joys of democracy. But I have to admit that both have made me a better person: more empathic, more sensitive, more egalitarian, more democratic, more in tune with my feelings. So much so, that I can never speak to male friends anymore. So much so, that every major decision in the house, like the color of my underwear, requires a meeting with minutes and secret ballot. Coping with assertive family members has been excellent training for dealing with students. The other day, and this is a true story, I received an email from a student at another university […]
January 18, 2016

The New Meaning of Sexy

In our cultural context, sexy has a very narrow definition, which means that 6.916 billion people, and most importantly me, have no chance to appear on the cover of People. However, for those of us who don’t fit the narrow definition of sexy, I have good news. Sexy doesn’t have to refer just to the carnal domain. Sexy can be a metaphor for appealing, exciting, desirable, attractive, educated, wise, fair, interesting and stimulating. I’m aware that this theory may well be perceived as an apologia for my big ears, but I trust the reader will see beyond them. I’m also aware that my argument may grow out of my charming personality, but I hope you will not get distracted by it. In our culture, we all want to be physically attractive. Women spend billions of dollars on cosmetics, plastic surgery, clothes and colonic cleansing just to be beautiful and sexy, on the outside and the inside. They spend inordinate amounts of money on nail salons staffed by girls from a particular country I cannot name due to fear of stereotyping, discrimination, and my wife’s looks when she reads this. Men go to gyms and buy supplements to build muscle. They […]
December 17, 2015

The Neurotic Vote

There are three main voter groups: lunatics, average, and neurotics. Since the lunatic group has already picked its candidate, remaining politicians need to study the other two. Let me address the average group first. People in this cluster spend quite a bit of time pondering the meaning of life. Does my existence matter? What is the purpose of life? Most Americans are really concerned about these philosophical issues.  In fact, the latest research shows that the average American spends increasingly more time every year asking existential questions. The time devoted to these concerns has gone up every year since 1649. Compared to that year, in 2015 the average American spent 327% more time thinking about the meaning of life. We are now at an all-time high for pondering existential matters: 28 seconds per year. I emphasize that this is the time spent worrying by the average American. In sharp contrast, the neurotic American spends 25 hours a day fretting. Since there are now more neurotic than average voters, I recommend that candidates pay attention to the former.   Neurotics like me worry about different things throughout the lifespan. For example, there are a number of serious prenatal concerns that neurotic […]
November 17, 2015

Dream Team: The Class of 2016

Longer version of article published in the Miami Herald, November 27, 2015Deep down, Republicans love Democrats, and Democrats love Republicans. What’s more, Republican candidates love one another, as do Democrats running for the Presidency. I know this because I’m a psychologist, and if you don’t believe me, look at the historical record running from Lincoln’s team of rivals to  Obama’s leadership team. The president picked Hillary Clinton and John Kerry as secretaries of state after he fought them vehemently for the party’s nomination. These folks love one another. The only reason candidates fight with each other is the media. And illegal aliens. And Obamacare.  And the tax code. And especially philosophers since, as Marco Rubio said in the recent debate, we have too many of them already. If we did not have journalists, illegal immigrants, IRS bureaucrats, a president, and a bunch of philosophers, the candidates would be working in synchrony to solve the world’s problems. But instead, they have to force themselves to be nasty to each other. Deep down they love one another and want to collaborate, especially when it comes to Obamacare. They all want to improve it, but journalists and philosophers get in way. They just […]
September 12, 2015

Best Prescription for Surviving the Jewish High Holidays

Dear Friends and Family, We wish you a happy and healthy new year. To do that, we recommend that you love each other without smothering one another. We suggest that you work hard but that you leave some time to spend  with one another, but not so much that you get on each other’s nerves.  If all the festivities of the High Holidays become too stressful, try Zen meditation, which is also good for dealing with all the people you invited for Rosh Hashana. If Zen meditation is not your thing, try becoming vegan, like us. Your new diet will make dealing with your relatives look really easy.  To cope with the aftermath of all the cooking and cleaning and eating, we suggest you give your nerves and your stomach a vacation until Yom Kippur, at which point you have to repent for getting on each other’s nerves, eating too much, working too hard, and not keeping up with your new vegan diet and your meditation routine. Don’t complain. Doing all these things will make you forget that Iran is going nuclear.  The Prilleltenskys

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