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Viewpoint: Humour helps brighten each day

by Daniel Rajala Many people such as me go through a lot of stress in this society and have had to find many different coping mechanisms to help.

by Daniel Rajala Many people such as me go through a lot of stress in this society and have had to find many different coping mechanisms to help.

It can be stressful going to a supermarket and doing shopping but how many times have there been extra long waits in the lineup at the express checkout?

As a person gets older it seems to come with diseases and illnesses that take their toll on one’s life. A person can get multiple sclerosis overnight and some people get Parkinson’s disease. There are also many people with cancer and I myself have hepatitis C1 and type two diabetes to deal with.

It also doesn’t help that the government has cut back on funding to the health care system and there aren’t even enough doctors for people living in Powell River. A doctor has so many patients that they are not able to give the full attention to the problems of one individual. I have to go for blood tests at the hospital four times a year, something I don’t like to do as I was an intravenous user years ago. It’s not always a lot of fun. Then when I do see the doctor it seems like he can’t even tell me much.

It’s no wonder that many people in a smaller isolated community suffer from depression.

Unfortunately, many people choose poor coping mechanisms such as drinking alcohol or taking drugs, prescription or otherwise. Paradoxically, these are the ones that seem to be more socially acceptable and probably because they are making someone rich. Drinking and driving is the cause of many deaths of innocent victims.

Just recently I bought a video at the Powell River Health-Care Auxiliary economy shop, called Patch Adams, which came out in 1999. That seems like a long time ago now that we are into 2014. This movie is based on a true story about a doctor in the United States who believed that humour was the best medicine.

When Patch Adams was in medical school he would often make visits to see patients in the hospital and dress like a clown or even an angel to pick up their spirits.

Last summer in Courtenay while having a coffee outside a restaurant, feeling a little depressed, I saw two women dressed as clowns walking around. Even though many people like to ignore anything that is out of the ordinary, it brought a smile to my face.

Dressing as a clown is something I have liked to do for many years now. There are some times I like to wear my red clown hair and red nose when I do a poetry reading or on such days as Canada Day. Just recently I started doing the Captain Underpants show again at the local community radio station CJMP 90.1 FM. It’s all about pushing the boundaries that we have in our society and as it has been said before, “We like to have fun in Powell River.”

Daniel Rajala has lived in Powell River for five years and likes that he is accepted by the community even though he is different.