Laughter Matters – Right Livelihood
Recently my comedian friend, Mike Preston, wished his grown nephew a happy birthday and posted a picture of the nephew when he was a kid riding his bike. I commented, “I ran over that kid and his bike this morning. If I’d known it was his birthday I would have swerved.”
Apparently that violates Facebook’s Community Standards. I got an email and the post was taken down.
That same week we learned from a whistleblower, Frances Haugen, that Facebook’s algorithm polarizes people by spreading hate and misinformation and that 2/3rds of young women using their Instagram app feel it hurts their body image, all in the name of profits.
In the book Work As a Spiritual Practice, Lewis Richmond explores the Buddhist’s teaching of right work or right livelihood. This involves being aware of the consequences of our work and making changes to it when we know our work hurts others. My work is helping people learn and experience how laughter matters in reducing stress and building profitable organizations, but there have been times I have learned my comedy has hurt others because as Elvis Costello wrote in his song, The Comedians, “It’s always something cruell that laughter drowns.” And, even though it may have been funny, I have stopped doing the material because I don’t want my work to hurt others.
On today’s Management Monday, I would hope you join me in being aware of the consequences of our work and making changes when our work hurts others. If we don’t do the right thing with masks and vaccines for our employees we are contributing to other’s deaths from the virus. If we don’t stand up against the lies the former president is spreading about the election, we could lose our democracy. And if we are excessively contributing to global warming, we could lose our world.
As far as Facebook goes, they allowed me to appeal their Community Standard’s decision. I wrote, “I’m a comedian. If you will check his profile, you’ll see Mike Preston is also a comedian. What I wrote was what we call a joke. If you really thought I had run over a child, I’d hope you’d call the police instead of sending me an email and taking down my post. From now on, when I feel compelled, I will go old school and call Mike on the phone to tell him my joke because at least NSA has a sense of humor.”
Have a great week and always remember laughter matters.
Known as the “World’s Cleanest” comedian and speaker, Kent Rader helps people learn and experience how laughter matters in reducing stress. Kent is the winner of the Branson Comedy Festival and co-stars in The Baby Boomer Comedy Show, Clean Comedy For People Born Before Seat Belts.
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Known as the "World's Cleanest Comedian and Speaker," Kent helps people and associations learn and experience how laughter matters in reducing stress and building successful, profitable organizations.
Kent graduated from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri with a B.S. in Accounting. He survived five years in public accounting and twelve years as C.F.O. and C.E.O. of hospitals before becoming a professional speaker in 1997.
Kent is the author of the stress reduction book "Let It Go, Just Let It Go" and co-stars with Jan McInnis in the Baby Boomer Comedy Show, "Clean Comedy for People Born Before Seat Belts, Safety Helmets, and Facebook.
He has been heard on NPR's Talk of the Nation and Sirius Satellite radio.
Kent is the winner of the Branson Comedy Festival and has been seen on Comcast's comedy show, "Who's Laughing Now." His clean, stand-up comedy DVD-CD titled "Kent Rader: The Grand Wizard of Comedy" was released in 2014.