'Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.' William James
Mothers--Chief Cat Herders
My mother used to say she raised 'all Chiefs and no Indians', when referring to her tribe of six independent children. I'd say she was the family's Chief Cat Herder.
This very proper, self-described 'fifth generation Washingtonian' from the District of Columbia raised six California wild cats while keeping a clean house--and most importantly--her sense of humor. My son related to my mother's good humor by saying 'I'm from your side of the family---the enjoying side of the family'.
Thanks to my mother, I learned to deal with life and strife with a sense of humor.
Laughter IS the Best Medicine
My mother--or Moo--as we called her--would often say 'laughter is the best medicine', and she'd demonstrate the truth of that belief daily as she sought to find the humor in situations and respond to trying life situations with good hearted laughter. I am so grateful to have learned the importance of keeping my sense of humor no matter what the situation from her.
I still remember the night my father was out of town on business one beautiful summer evening when my siblings and I stayed out late playing kick-the-can in the neighborhood. Our mother called and called us to come home but not one of us answered.
When we finally dragged our tails home she was hopping mad and promised a spanking for us all. As she herded us into the back bedroom to carry out the punishment, children wandered this way and that into other bedrooms and bathrooms on their way to their predictable single swat on the rear end.
Finally herding us into one room she lined us up by age to spank us in order from oldest to youngest. My oldest sister, Jean, got the first swat on the behind, followed by my brother, John. My mother burst out laughing as soon as her hand connecting with his rear made a metallic pinging noise . On his way to his swat-on-the-behind my brother had stopped at the sewing machine to grab the metal lid off the sewing tin so he could stuff it in his pants to thwart the whack. My mother's surprised laughter relieved the tension of the moment--and the rest of us got off scott-free.
Cat Herders Must have a Sense of Humor
Moo taught us the keys to herding cats:
- Don't try to control them--find ways to catch their attention instead.
- Love and support their independence and individuality.
- Enjoy and respect them.
- Keep your sense of humor.
Someone sent me this YouTube video Cowboys Herding Cats and the first time I watched it I split a gut laughing. It really gives you a visual for the metaphor of herding cats.
If you, too, find yourself playing the role of Chief Cat Herder--attempting to corral a group of people all going their separate ways at work or at home--give yourself something to laugh about. View this 1 minute video now and save it to view later to relieve your frustration. As my mother always said, laughter and keeping your sense of humor is the best medicine!
'Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.' Unknown
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