Sometimes it’s nice doing something just for the fun of it.

Oscar Wilde said “Life is too important to be taken seriously”. And says Patch, “There are numerous studies demonstrating the health-giving effects of humor, but not one showing benefits from seriousness.”

belen4Whatever else a fun-raiser is, it’s fun. Fun-raising tickles the funny bone. Spontaneous or planned, in private or public, alone or together, with friends or strangers, fun-raising raises the spirit of the raiser AND the raise-ee. Fun-raising enlivens the atmosphere, brings joy and laughter, connects us one to another, and to a deeper, more satisfying sense of self. A Gesundheit aphorism- “Fun is medicine.”

Rather than making fun of others, our extensive experience in fun-ology has taught us to begin by making fun of ourselves. Many of us are stuck in our ego’s need to be right, in control, powerful, incredible, cool, independent. We risk being cut-off from our spontaneity and creativity, and alienating us from others. It’s lonely being right all the time, taking ourselves so seriously. We also need the freedom to relax and belong, and be foolish. Simply wearing mismatched socks, a goofy tie, a silly hat can be the first step towards some serious fun!

For the fun-deficient, we offer some hints

F – free yourself from the need to be normal; flowers (as in “give everyone a flower” on the street, in a nursing home);  and farts, a sure-fire seriousness breaker (whoopee cushions, fart machines)

U – fun with underpants (how many people can get inside the World’s Largest Patch Clowning 4Underpants)

N – a red nose, anytime, anywhere

Rride the horse backwards (it’s a metaphor)

A – be an antidote to excessive seriousness; act as if you are responsible for the group atmosphere

I – imagine/improvise; be intentional

S – smiles/ singing/spontaneity/ silliness/stop making sense

E – be excessively happy; do what you do, but with enthusiasm

Rremember, if children think it’s fun, it’s fun.

Opportunities for fun-raising are endless!

Plan events, parties, gatherings- un-birthdays, spaghetti baths, water festivals, friend appreciation days, pun-days, free hug days, raffles, or dances. You can even fun-raise to generate funds to come on a GGO clown trip! Or to make a donation for Gesundheit’s building project!

We, at Gesundheit, take our fun-raising seriously. Whatever your fun-raising strategy is, remember that every moment is a healthcare moment, for you, for those around you. Smiles are contagious. Imagine you are an anti-depressant- being publically happy and generous of spirit is a public-health action. Fun-raising, for a moment, lifts us a little above this troubled world. Please send us your fun-raising story, video, or scheme!

And if you fun-raised funds for Gesundheit, send what you’ve raised to:

Gesundheit Institute
P.O. Box 307, 
Urbana, IL 61801

Patch Adams MD & Gesundheit Institute, P.O. Box 307, Urbana, IL 61803

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