Introduce a little Puck into your life.
I understand that in serious times it may seem strange advice. And that is why the parade is life-saving, or, as the British writer G.K. Chesterton: “Angels can fly because they treat themselves easily.”
Nowadays the world is full of serious chatter, commentators posing with gloomy gestures on their faces, feeding us bad news. In a few days it is better to disconnect, take a walk or sit quietly.
What is Puka, you ask? If you’ve never seen the 1950s film “Harvey” starring Jimmy Stewart, I would advise doing so today. It can ease your burden and cause a laugh or two, which is what most of us need to go through the serious chatter that pops up to tell us what to think.
Stewart plays Elwood P. Daoud, a wealthy man who has a tall white rabbit as a companion. But only he can see it. Garvey is the name of a rabbit, and he is Puka, a mischievous spirit in Irish folklore who can look like a big animal. In other words, he is a cool clown but kind, who likes to laugh, especially at the expense of arrogant people who think everyone knows and humiliates others.
Daoud’s family decides he needs to be hospitalized, but even his therapist falls in love with Harvey and wants Daoud to stay. Eventually the doctor sees Harvey and spends time with Hmm, just meeting and talking to people he meets by chance.
Daoud offers some great tips on how to live better. He tells his doctor, “Well, Doctor, I’ve been battling the reality for 35 years, and I’m happy to say I’ve finally won.”
Or explains why he is a happy person: “I always had a great time wherever I was, whoever I was with.”
My favorite quote is Daoud: “Years ago my mother told me, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be’ – she always called me Elwood – ‘in this world’. you must be so smart or so nice. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend a nice one. And you can quote me. “
And so I quote him. You can be very smart and very disgusting at the same time if you take yourself too seriously. But if you relax, play and laugh at yourself, you may learn to enjoy life. That’s why you’re actually here when you stop being too serious.
Stupidity is a wonderful therapy, especially if it is aimed at yourself. Its food for the soul. Show me a man who always seems serious and I will lay down your unhappy soul. Show me a crowd of serious people and I guess you’re in hell.
So relax, act stupid, let Puka inside emerge as a symbol of joyful remnant. You have nothing to lose but frown and frown.
John C. Morgan is a writer whose weekly columns appear in this newspaper. He is working on the eighth book, entitled “Daily Ethics,” which is due out in the fall.